New Roads to Paradise. In Praise of Hans Boland

(Christiane Kuby) THE LOW COUNTRIES - 2016, № 24, PP. 64-71

In search of the most beautiful untranslated book from Dutch literature I am re-reading the novel De zachte held (The Tender Hero) by my colleague-translator Hans Boland, published in 2014, favourably reviewed in the newspapers, but subsequently relegated to the background until Boland was heard from again in early 2015 when he refused the renowned Pushkin Prize that had been awarded to him for his translations from the Russian. The prize was welcome, but to receive it from Putin's hands was unthinkable. Boland wouldn't let himself be used as a cultural sop for politics that he abhorred. Luckily he wasn't punished for it but was awarded the Martinus Nijhoff Prize for his complete translation oeuvre shortly afterwards.

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