Personal archive of Roswitha Matwin-Buschmann
Roswitha Matwin-Buschmann - "professionalism and passion", expert on difficult pieces "(from Karl Dedecius' laudation," Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung. Jahrbuch ", Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 1993, p. 67)
Roswitha Matwin-Buschmann was born in Trier in 1939. After studying Slavonic studies at the Leipzig Institute for Translation and Interpreting (Russian and Polish), she worked as a translator at the GDR Embassy in Warsaw, then as a reader for publishing houses and a specialist in Slavonic literature in East Berlin (Aufbau Verlag, Eulenspiegelverlag, Verlag das Neue Berlin). It was at this time that she began publishing her first major translations of Polish fiction, including The Invincible, one of Stanisław Lem's most famous novels.
From 1970 until the breakthrough she worked as a freelance translator of Polish and Russian literature, as well as a reviewer and reader in East Berlin.
Between 1991 and 2004 she was employed as a translator at the Goethe Institute in Warsaw and continued to work with leading German publishing houses and the Polish Institute in Berlin and Leipzig. After 1990, the rights to her translations were acquired by major West German publishing houses, i.e. DVA, Suhrkamp, Insel, Luchterhand.
Roswitha Matwin-Buschmann's index of translations includes more than 70 works by Polish authors - from poetry, novels, short stories, essays, radio dramas, plays to works for children and young people - from the Baroque to the 20th century avant-garde. She is also co-translator and author of numerous articles for about 40 anthologies.
Rosemarie Tietze at a lecture at the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts described Roswitha Matwin-Buschmann's translation work as "Dancing on a tightrope suspended over time" ("Seiltanz zwischen den Zeiten) . Among the authors she has translated into German are Romantics (Słowacki) as well as 20th century classics (Witkiewicz, Kuncewiczowa, Leśmian, Hłasko, Miłosz, Różewicz, Konwicki, Odojewski, Myśliwski, Lem, Krall), decadents (Przybyszewski), avant-gardists (Iredyński, Zaniecki), postmodernists (Rudnicki, Bieńczyk, Wiedemann, Grzegorzewska, Tulli), chroniclers of Solidarity (Andermann, Michnik), as well as authors of Jewish literature (Korczak, Grynberg, Hen) and literature dealing with the Holocaust (Sierakowiak, Gorodecka). Roswitha Matwin-Buschmann has a special sense for rhythm and phrase melody in works of various styles - from the prophetic-subtle Słowacki, through the exuberant fantasy of Witkiewicz and the ironic distance of Brandys, to the futurological discourse of Lem. In a conversation with Andreas Tretner of 7.06.1999, "Every work is a new dance" ("Jeder Text ein neuer Tanz") she called herself a translator dancing with Brandys, Lem and others for over 30 years.
For her translation of Brandys's "Variationen in Briefen", the German Academy of Language and Literature awarded her the Johann Heinrich Voss Prize in 1993. A year later Roswitha Matwin Buschmann became a full member of the Academy.
The legacy of Roswitha Matwin-Buschmann was transferred to the archive, sorted and compiled in 2019. The collection contains approximately 2 linear metres of documents. These include manuscripts of numerous translations with corrections and notes, reviews of literary works for the German Academy of Language and Literature and translation projects as part of the Berlin Literary Colloquium, as well as discussions of Polish literature (1974-1995), articles written for the Goethe Institute, correspondence with Polish authors and business correspondence with more than 30 publishing houses, and a scientifically important collection of materials on literary translation