Dr. Solomon Apt

Prof. Drs. Bernhard Zeller presenting the award.

Jury citation for the 1992 prize In the pre-revolutionary period, there was a lively scene for the reception of Hesse's works in Russia, though this came to an abrupt halt in 1924 and was not revived until 37 years later. Not until 1961 did it prove possible to publish Russian translations of Unterm Rad and Das Glasperlenspiel (impression: 75,000). A further eight years were to elapse without a further Hesse translation until, in the centenary year of 1977, Der Steppenwolf was allowed to appear in the translation produced years earlier by Solomon Apt, which had originally been published in the magazine Innostrannaja Literatura ("Foreign Literature"). In the same year, the work appeared in book form in a compilation volume, Izbrannoe, which also included Knulp and Der Kurgast. Thanks to Solomon Apt's energetic and untiring efforts in the service of Hermann Hesse - whose "soul biographies" and process of individuation based on spiritual and intellectual self-realization proved to be politically unachievable in the world of socialist realism - the intervals in the primary reception of Hesse's works became shorter once again. In 1984, Das Glasperlenspiel was published in the new translation by Solomon Apt in the anthology Die Morgenlandfahrt (impression: 100,000). Two years later, his translation of Klingsor (Kinderseele, Klein und Wagner, Klingsors letzter Sommer) was published in an impression of 50,000, and a year later Hesse's Rundbriefe and several essays appeared, the majority of them again once again translated by Solomon Apt. Quite undisputed is the artistic quality of the translations produced by Solomon Apt, who has, in addition to the works of Hermann Hesse, also published Russian translations of the major novels of Thomas Mann, Robert Musil, Max Frisch, etc. While remaining as faithful to the original as possible, Apt nonetheless manages to render and transform each work using a highly distinct idiom of the Russian language.