'I let myself be inspired by everyday culture in Flanders’

On the roof terrace of the Translators' House. (c) Jerzy Koch
In August, Rainer Kersten, a Dutch to German translator, stayed in the Translators' House in Antwerp.
In August, Rainer Kersten, a Dutch to German translator, stayed in the Translators' House in Antwerp. He wrote this enthusiastic report on his stay.On the roof terrace of the Translators' House. (c) Jerzy Koch On the roof terrace of the Translators' House. (c) Jerzy Koch 'I wanted to finish my translation of Dimitri Verhulst's 'Kaddisj voor een kut' (Kaddish for a Cunt) while I was staying there and this I can say: I raced ahead in my work! The Flemish environment certainly helped and I was able to consult native speakers about all kinds of questions. I hope that staying in the middle of Antwerp's authentic atmosphere has enabled me to add something extra to my translation that will make the book success in Germany, too.The Translators' House provides the peace and calm needed for this kind of work: thanks to my grant, I was able to get on with my translation without financial problems or day-to-day worries. Mostly what I did in my free time was to allow myself to be inspired by everyday cultural in Flanders, reading newspapers and getting to know the city. The weather was good, so I was able to do lots of fun things out of doors and enjoy the roof terrace of the Translators' House. My Polish colleague, Slawomir Paszkiet, and I found it a thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring experience.I also got a lot of inspiration from reading (more or less) recently published books, such as 'De man die haast had' (The Man Who Was in a Hurry), by Jan Vantoortelboom, and Jeroen Brouwers' 'Het hout' (The Wood) (counts as a Flemish title, doesn't it?). And I read the Flemish classics 'Zwart en wit' (Black and White), by Gerard Walschap, and Herman Teirlinck's 'Het gevecht met de engel' (Battle With the Angel).In short: The facilities of the Translators' House, the calm working atmosphere and the inspiring environment all helped to make my stay in Antwerp a really successful experience. Don't change a thing!'