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Kris Lauwerys

Kris Lauwerys was born in 1972 and teaches Dutch at the University of Mons. He’s the founding editor of the literary journal Deus ex Machina and also an award winning literary translator of works in French and German.

One of the authors he’s translated is the 20th century Austrian-Romanian writer, memoirist and actor Gegor von Rezzori (1914 – 1998) who is most well-known for his somewhat autobiographical book ‘Memoirs of an Anti-Semite.’ It’s a series of four novellas which first came to the attention of English speaking readers in 1969 when one of the stories was published in the magazine The New Yorker.




Vlaams Nederlands Huis de Buren Radio Netherlands The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature

This author's Radio Book:

Kris Lauwerys
A Journey and Two Declarations of Love

In 2006, Lauwerys was commissioned to translate Von Rezzori’s tales into Dutch. Blurring the lines between memoir and fiction even further, Lauwerys has turned his experience of translating the work into a somewhat autobiographical contribution for Radiobooks.

“Translating ‘Memoirs of an Anti-Semite’ drives my self-consciousness to unknown heights, for example, when a sentence finally fits into place. But some days my inadequacy drives me almost over the edge of despair. Why am I doing this to myself? Why couldn’t I just remain a teacher in a university in a provincial town?…

“Why do I translate? Of course, I’ve been reading since my earliest youth. Certainly, I feel at home in that ironic-melancholy literature of old Austria, by Joseph Roth and yourself. Your melancholy-drenched descriptions of Bukovina and Vienna of the 1930s, your humour -  they seem tailor-made for me.

“But perhaps through translation I want to rise above myself, want to force myself to press the maximum out of myself, or I just want to give my life an artistic cachet. In that to and fro of joy and doubt am I not looking for something like the relief that my everyday life seldom offers? A disturbing idea…”

'A Journey and Two Declarations of Love’ by Kris Lauwerys was translated by Michael O’Loughlin. The story is read by David Swatling.

Produced by Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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