Renowned Hungarian, Russian, Polish and Mexican Spanish translators who worked on Seamus Heaney’s poetry have gathered in Dublin to mark the opening of a new home for the Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation.
The event featured readings of Heaney’s poetry in the four different languages and paid tribute to his contribution to literature as a writer and translator, and also acknowledged the poet’s strong support of the development of the Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation.
András Imreh attended the literary festival for his work translating the Nobel laureate into Hungarian and gushed about his work for the famous poet.
“We Hungarians first fell in love with Heaney like a country girl with the boy next door: he was so much like us,” said Imreh.
“Throughout the ’80s and the early ’90s we had the fixation that we’d gone through such a different history to the rest of the continent, and consequently part of what we tried to tell was so peculiar that it rang no bells elsewhere. Some of our words like “black cut”, “sweeping the attic”, “hellbell” or “putting a deadlock on the lip” were untranslatable without our particular context.
“And then an Irish guy got the Nobel. We immediately started devouring his books, and to our greatest surprise we read poems about an unlicensed bull, the ministry of fear, and the wise advice that “whatever you say, say nothing,” he added.