One year ago, 15 October 2014, I launched www.abitofpitch.com with just three translations from Karl Kraus’s Die Fackel: “In praise of an inverted way of life,” “Politics,” and “Morality and criminal justice.” Since then, I’ve added two additional essays, ten glosses, two selections of aphorisms, and three poems. I have even begun work on a translation of Kraus’s wonderful and important speech “In these great times,” but have unfortunately not been able to find the time to finish it; I’ll get there soon enough. … All in all, however, I am quite satisfied with my output over the last year, especially given both that I have a full-time job (I am the head of translation at a boutique translation agency specialized in legal translation) and that a bit of pitch is a hobby website.
I launched a bit of pitch in the belief that Kraus is doing something with and in his writings which is worthy of our attention and understanding. One of Kraus’s greatest achievements—and I am not the first person to say so—consists in his forcing us to read slowly and, by extension, to understand written texts in a manner commensurate with the facts and elements of a given situation. His writings show that this kind of understanding is often surprising and humorous, but they also show that this kind of understanding is often very difficult.
This belief and the fact that only a handful of his writings had appeared in English translation in the past were reason enough to embark on my own translations of Kraus’s writings; my express aim was and is to make more of them available in English. … I shall keep on keepin’ on. And I hope that you too shall continue to read my blog and translations of Kraus’s writings. Thank you for your interest in Kraus and my work. I greatly appreciate both.