Jean Malaplate

Prof. Drs. Bernhard Zeller. congratulating the prize winner.

Jury citation for the 2000 prize


In awarding Jean Malaplate its 2000 prize, the Hermann Hesse Foundation wished to express its appreciation not only for his remarkably faithful translations - published between 1993 and 1997 - of five volumes of Hesse's autobiographical writings, poems and maxims, but also for the courage he displayed in applying such dedication to the writer's non-fiction works, which were previously terra incognita in France. Especially unique among the attempts that have hitherto been made to render Germany lyric poetry into another language are his sensitive translations of Hesse's poetry, which convey the musical qualities of the writer's verse through rhymes that capture the original with unerring accuracy. Jean Malaplate's earlier achievement - the translation into French of Faust (Parts I and II), the fruits of his labours over a period of thirty years - has been equalled with this excellent selection of Hesse's poems, with which he has once again made German poetry accessible to his compatriots in a way that enables them to read it as if it were their own.