Blackadder's Translation of German Play Published in Journal

March 27, 2012

Neil Blackadderby Stephen Danilovich '14

Knox College Theatre Professor Neil Blackadder's translation of a German-language play appears in the winter 2012 issue of eXchanges, a literary journal published by the University of Iowa.

As an online journal of literary translation, eXchanges features drama, fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction originally published in German, Hebrew, Spanish, and a variety of other languages.

The latest issue of the journal includes Blackadder's translation of The Lovers (Die Liebenden), a play by Margareth Obexer, along with the original German text. In a translator's note, Blackadder describes the process of translating this particular piece.

"The principal, but enjoyable, challenge I faced in translating Die Liebenden was how best to convey (Obexer's) poetic inventiveness in English," Blackadder wrote.

Blackadder earned a prestigious fellowship for 2011-12 from the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation to translate into English three contemporary German-language plays by Swiss playwright Lukas Bärfuss.

Blackadder also was selected in 2011 for a grant from the PEN American Center to translate another of Bärfuss' plays, The Test.

His earlier translation of a Bärfuss play, The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents, has been performed in New York and London to critical acclaim.

Blackadder has taught at Knox since 1998. In 2008, he directed his translation from German of Rebekka Kricheldorf's play Rosa and Blanca with Knox students. He has written the book, Performing Opposition: Modern Theater and the Scandalized Audience.

Blackadder obtained his bachelor's degree in German and French from the University of London, his master's degree in comparative literature from the University of California Los Angeles, and his doctorate in comparative literature from Princeton University.