Translator and literary scholar Petro Rykhlo

“Somewhat you enjoy when you struggle with a piece – it lasts for long, and at times you lose heart (“it’s impossible to translate”), and at times you don’t understand it. But when you find the solution – in translation or interpretation – it fills you with a high sense: “I have made it!” It is an intellectual challenge. But here there is one more thing. Poetry for Celan is a mission. Perhaps, I also regard my translations of Celan as a mission. In order to translate Celan there should be a complex of qualities combined in one person: have good basis in literary studies, have good knowledge of the language (two languages, obviously), have high professional translator level – creative even, be proficient in versification after all (early Celan has plenty of rhymed poems). Ukrainian readership should read Celan as if a poem was originally written in the Ukrainian language. It is a mission,’ a translator and literary scholar Petro Rykhlo celebrates his birthday on this day.

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