Friday, 19 June 2009

Brecht At Night

Eric's translation of Estonian author Mati Unt's documentary novel about Bertolt Brecht's life in Finland will be published by Dalkey Archive Press on August 20. The book is already advertised on Amazon, and pre-orders can be taken there.


Eric Dickens said...

Thanks for the mention, David. I received my nine translator's copies this afternoon through the snailmail service, aka the explosively named TNT here in the Netherlands, the same people who were bidding for the Royal Mail.

Now the question is where and when the Brecht book gets reviewed. But it does now mean that three novels by Mati Unt, two translated by me, one by Ants Eert from Hawaii, have been published by Dalkey. So this is building up a body of work by this rather unusual author.

I'll try to write a bit more about his other untranslated work on this blog, because Unt started publishing back in the 1960s and has several further novels and novellas to his name. When his previous Collected Works were published back in 1985, the two volumes comprised a total of some 700 pages. And since then he wrote the three novels now in English plus several other things.

Some of Unt's texts are plays, others have quite a lot of dialogue. This is not surprising as Unt staged plays for over twenty years at various Estonian theatres. I don't think he ever staged Brecht, but he did Gombrowicz, Pinter and quite a few other modern playwrights.

I'm (re-)translating his 1972 novella called "An Empty Beach" for an anthology which Dedalus will be publishing.

Eric Dickens said...

Someone has actually reveiwed it already on the Complete Review website. The other M. Unt mentioned in the review, with whose name Mati Unt messes around, was called Maxim Unt, a real-life figure, who was Minister of the Interior in the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.