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The Horst Frenz Prize Citations 2006

2006 Prize Winner:

Maya Barzilai and Katra Byram (University of California, Berkeley), for their paper, "The Challenge of Lyric Address in War Poems by Yitzchak Laor and Ingeborg Bachmann", presented at the 2005 Annual Meeting at Pennsylvania State University.

The judges had these comments about Barzilai and Byram's essay:

“It's excellent, combining astute generic study with social deconstruction in a way that is illuminating for both. The interaction of the personal and the public in both poems is brilliantly adumbrated. And, how refreshing to see a paper that is socially and politically conscious yet attentive to a literary text.”

“The paper makes a contribution to the understanding of a genre: lyric. I also like the way the paper interweaves the personal and the political, and I think that the analysis of the two poems is detailed and convincing. Furthermore, the writing is balanced, intelligent, and lucid. The paper uses theory, Althusser's theory of interpellation, but adds to it based on the reading of the two poems. It also uses, but adds to, Marxist feminist theory. The use of theory is clear and jargon-free. What I consider the crowning achievement of the paper, and the reason why I am voting for it as the best paper, is the sophisticated collaboration of the two writers, which, as they point out, is an exercise in dialogue, as are the poems they analyze and compare. The dialogue of the two writers makes the comparison better, by making the two poems in different languages speak to each other.”

“This exemplary paper practices what it preaches. The paper is about the ways in which literary genre is constructed by the fiction of address, it is about translation, and it is about intertextual response. Through their collaboration, Barzalai and Byram address one another, but they also put into practice a theory of indirect lyric address…. Because each translator read the poem that her collaborator had translated, the notion of what (or who) was proper to each poem was put into question, at the same time that the languages (read in both the original and the translation) were literally brought into the room together. This is an example of the best sort of collaborative and comparative work, and we are very pleased to recognize it as such.”

2006 Frenz Prize Committee:
Eugene Eoyang (Indiana University and Lingan University, chair)
Janet Walker (Rutgers University)
Virginia Jackson (New York University)