Arno Schmidt (1914–1979) was born in the working-class suburb of Hamburg-Hamm, Germany. Drafted into the army in 1940, he served in the artillery at a flak base in Norway until the end of the war. After being held as a prisoner of war for eight months, he worked briefly as an interpreter for the British military police. His first book, Leviathan, was published in 1949. In 1958, Schmidt moved to the village of Bargfeld near Celle. Over the next 20 years, until his death, he wrote some of the landmarks of postwar German literature, many of which are available in translation from Dalkey Archive Press.
Monsters of Translation: On Arno Schmidt and Sasha Sokolov
Josh Billings wrestles with translations of the “untranslatable” novels of Arno Schmidt and Sasha Sokolov....