Jiří Theiner Award Travels to Poland


The Book World book fair is the traditional host of the Jiří Theiner Awards ceremony. This year's winner is the Polish translator Jan Stachowski.

The prestigious prize is awarded to those who have significantly contributed to the dissemination of Czech literature abroad. In the case of Jan Stachowski, this condition has most certainly been fulfilled. Thanks to him and his translations, Polish readers can enjoy the works of, among others, Bohumil Hrabal, Josef Škvorecký, Patrik Ouředník, as well as numerous other Czech authors. The award was presented by Jiří Theiner's son Pavel. The event's host, David Vaughn, who has guided the audiences through all of the award's ceremonies to date, introduced Jan Stachowski in an interesting interview. Book World visitors learned how Jan had first encountered the Czech language, how he came to understand the Czech mentality through his work at the Polish embassy in Prague, how he had met Bohumil Hrabal, whose books he later translated, and how he passed his affection for the Czech Republic to his daughter, who decided to move here. This gives his granddaughter shared Czech-Polish roots, which fact Jan Stachowski sees as almost symbolic. The laureate also admitted that what he enjoys most about translating is being alone - the opportunity to dive into the author's text and look for contexts. He sees translating not as work, but as a hobby, and his work is a proof of just that. The Jiří Theiner Award has once again found a worthy laureate.