An Introduction

The Translator

Amy Susanna Dusenbury was born in Charleston, South Carolina and grew up in Washington, D.C. She studied German literature and art history at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, at the City University of London, and at Phillips-Universität in Marburg. She also held an internship at Christie’s contemporary art gallery, Haunch of Venison, in London. She is a member of the Hugo-Ball-Gesellschaft, and works in consultation with its Zentrum der Hugo-Ball-Forschung. She immigrated to Germany after her studies, and presently lives in Karlsruhe with her husband and two children.

 

The Press

Contra Mundum Press is an independent publisher based in New York. Since its inception in 2012, Contra Mundum has published translations into English from Sumerian, German, Hungarian, French, Turkish, Italian, and Farsi. Contra Mundum has published two world premiere editions of works by Fernando Pessoa, Philosophical Essays and The Transformation Book, as well as premiere English translations of works by Gherasim Luca, Miklós Szentkuthy, Elio Petri, Josef Winkler, Emilio Villa, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sandor Tar, and others. In 2013, Szentkuthy’s Marginalia on Casanova was voted one of the best books of the year by The Guardian. Contra Mundum titles have also received strong endorsement from critics at the Times Literary Supplement, The New Statesmen, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, amongst others.

 

The primary aim of Contra Mundum is to publish translations of writers who, in their use of form and style, are à rebours. Such writing attests to the volatile nature of modernism. Their preference is for works that have not yet been translated into English, are out of print, or are poorly translated. There are many works of fundamental significance to Weltliteratur —̶  and Weltkultur —̶  that still remain in relative oblivion. Works that alter and disrupt standard circuits of thought. It is the aim of Contra Mundum Press to render them more visible.

 

Contra Mundum has received recognition and continued support from the Hungarian Book Foundation, the Austrian Ministry of Culture, the French Embassy, and the Turkish Ministry of Culture. Other institutional benefactors and collaborators include the Petöfi Literary Museum (Budapest), Arsenal Museum of Film and TV (Berlin), the Italian Cultural Institute (Berlin; New York), and the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. In 2014, Contra Mundum author, Josef Winkler, and his translator Adrian West were featured at the PEN Literary Festival in New York.Most recently, Contra Mundum received a Hemmingway Grant from the French Embassy for its forthcoming publication of Pierre Senges's The Major Refutation.