Contributor Spotlight: Will Firth
I had heard good things about HFR through some grapevine or other, so I was pretty thrilled when one of the editors approached me in late 2013 and asked if I’d like to submit one of my translations for Issue 54. That was my first, brief reaction.
The hard truth is that I’m up to the eyeballs in my current project—a 500-page Serbian novel that I’m translating under time pressure—and my initial ego-trip quickly morphed into a groan of “But not now!” Fortunately I remembered two short pieces I had up my sleeve, both translated from Macedonian: a short story and an excerpt from a novel. The one is a bit zany, the other full of raw energy, which meant both of them been turned down by mainstream literary magazines (not to mention the “Where the fuck is Macedonia?!” factor, which is a major deterrent). It’s great that HFR is open to these oddball stories, and I’m sure quite a few readers will enjoy them—weird and wonderful as they are, but far from frivolous.
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Will Firth was born in 1965 in Newcastle, Australia. He studied German and Slavic languages in Canberra, Zagreb, and Moscow. Since 1991 he has been living in Berlin, Germany, where he works as a freelance translator of literature and the humanities. He translates from Russian, Macedonian, and all variants of Serbo-Croatian. His website is www.willfirth.de. His translations, “Noses” by Rumena Buzarovska and an excerpt from Swimming in Dust by Igor Isakovski, can be found in HFR 54.