Something does, on occasion, fall from a torch. A bit of pitch.
Karl Kraus (F 279-280: 5)


post № 1

15 October 2014


A preface: introducing a bit of pitch

a bit of pitch is dedicated to publishing selected writings of Karl Kraus in English translation and constitutes a kind of remedial action targeted against the unfortunate situation in the English-speaking world that Karl Kraus, one of the most important (and prolific) German-speaking writers of the 20th century, remains largely untranslated. As of the date of this post, only a small number of his writings has been translated into English.


It is, however, neither possible nor desirable to remedy this situation in its entirety. The sheer magnitude in the disparity between the total number of pages that Kraus has written and the total number of pages that have appeared in English translation is, in and of itself, preventative of any total remedial undertaking by a lone translator. But there are other considerations too. Some of Kraus’s writings are untranslatable. Some of them are just uninteresting. And some of them are hardly understandable today without comprehensive explanatory matter on fin-de-siècle Vienna. In a word, it is neither possible nor desirable to translate everything Kraus ever wrote. What is possible and desirable—and what I shall be attempting with a bit of pitch—is to make modest progress in getting Kraus’s writings in English translation where modest progress can be made.


a bit of pitch is, therefore, my attempt to provide English translations of selected writings of Karl Kraus, which (i) are (hopefully) interesting to a contemporary English-speaking audience, (ii) are generally understandable with a bit of work on the part of the reader, and (iii) do not require comprehensive explanatory matter on fin-de-siècle Vienna or anything else.


Sylvia Doliwa, 15.10.2014

Peter, 15.10.2014

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