“As readers we stumble when caught off guard, when the familiar suddenly appears strange and the strange familiar, when words we thought we knew suddenly show us their full range of meaning and words in a foreign tongue prove to be the only possible way to express something we’ve always known.”

- Disoriented Language



     © Caroline White


Susan Bernofsky is a leading American translator of German-language literature. She directs the program Literary Translation at Columbia in the MFA Writing Progam at the Columbia University School of the Arts.

Her lifelong fascination with German literature began when she first read the Grimms' fairy tales in the original as a high school student in New Orleans. She takes particular interest in the lines of influence linking eighteenth and nineteenth century German thought to modern and contemporary literature and theater in the German-speaking world and beyond. Her writings on literature and culture are informed by her experience of living between two continents and cultures.

She blogs about literary translation at www.translationista.com, and is currently at work on a biography of the great Swiss-German modernist author Robert Walser, whom she has been translating for over twenty-five years.


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