Congratulations to Jody Enders for winning the 2022 MLA-Roth Translation and Majorie Perloff and Petra Reid and Jim Dingley for honorable mention. The MLA‐Roth Award for translation of a literary work into English was established in 2000. It underscores the significance of translators who, through their dedication and expertise, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, literature, and perspectives across borders.
The 2022 MLA-Roth award went to Jody Enders, Distinguished Professor of French and Theater at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for her translation of Immaculate Deception and Further Ribaldries: Yet Another Dozen Medieval French Farces in Modern English. In this collection of twelve French farces, Enders invites the readers to explore the controversial topics of French culture during the time through a blend of hilarity and satire. Published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, Enders’s translation has received glowing remarks from the MLA Committee, hailing Enders for her “technical translation prowess, scholarly rigor, and guffaw-inducing creative humor.” Enders not only challenges the modern-day perception of the Middle Ages as a grim period but also harnesses the comedic essence of these stories to encourage readers to reconsider contemporary issues through the lens of historical satire.
This year, Marjorie Perloff received an honorable mention for the 2022 MLA-Roth Translation Award for her translation of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Private Notebooks, 1914–1916. Perloff introduces to the English-speaking world, and even to the German-speaking sphere where these notebooks aren’t widely accessible in their original form, documents that are indispensable for gaining a clearer understanding of both Wittgenstein’s life story and the genesis of his philosophical work, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, during the war years. Through her meticulous translation, readers are invited to not only engage with Wittgenstein’s philosophical insights but also to contemplate the sociocultural contexts that influenced his thoughts.
Petra Reid and Jim Dingley received the second honorable mention of the MLA-Roth Translation Award for their translation of Alhierd Bacharevič’s Alindarka’s Children. Originally published in Belarusian, Russian, and a hybrid of the two languages, this darkly satirical fantasy weaves together elements of childhood, forests, family dynamics, and the complexities of language. The translation of this work into English by Petra Reid and Jim Dingley expertly captures the essence of the original text, maintaining its dissonant and multi-layered nature.
Join us in congratulating these exceptional translators for their well-deserved recognition and their dedication to sharing thought-provoking narratives with English-speaking audiences.