10.ilb - 15.09 bis 26.10.10 - Focus Osteuropa
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Tim Parks  [ United Kingdom, Italy ]


Portrait Tim Parks
© Hartwig Klappert

Guest 2006, 2009, 2012.


München, 2004
[Ü: Michael Schulte]

Ehebruch und andere Zerstreuungen
München, 2006
[Ü: Ulrike Becker]

Träume von Flüssen und Meeren
München, 2009
[Ü: Ulrike Becker]

Die Kunst stillzusitzen

München, 2010
[Ü: Ulrike Becker]

Sex ist verboten
München, 2012
[Ü: Ulrike Becker]

Tim Parks was born in Manchester in 1954 and grew up in London. He studied at Cambridge and Harvard and, in 1981, moved to Italy where he has lived ever since, teaching Literary Translation at the University of Milan.

Over the course of his productive literary career Parks has published fifteen novels, numerous essays, short stories and academic texts. For his first novel, »Tongues of Flame« (1985) he was awarded the Somerset Maugham Award and the Betty Trask Prize. Parks depicts the development of religious obsession through the eyes of a fifteen-year-old. The taut, unpretentious prose offers an exciting contrast to the complexity of the emotionality presented. Parks’s novels are characterised overall by a brilliant linkage of heterogeneous parts. The author tackles his characters’ inner torment with humour that borders on the grotesque and, in doing so, seemingly effortlessly maintains the balance between the tragic and the banal. Alongside malfunctioning relationships and existential crises, the novels often deal with the latent power of destruction under the seemingly glittering facades of political or social institutions. This is where Parks the moralist sticks his finger in the wounds of modern bourgeois life, as the title of his story collection »Adultery and Other Diversions« (1998) illustrates. In »Judge Savage« (2003), as often in his novels, Parks fuses personal narrative and inner monologue. The depiction of how the successful Judge David Savage’s world collapses unfolds through the protagonist’s own nervous, erratic stream of consciousness perspective. In »Dreams of Rivers and Seas« (2008), Parks writes about the mysterious life and the research work of an anthropologist in modern India. His most recent work, »The Server« (2012) is a novel accompanying his work of non-fiction »Teach Us To Sit Still« (2010), in which Parks describes how he was able to alleviate chronic pain through meditation in a silent retreat. A Buddhist retreat is also the backdrop to the novel, in which Parks uses his protagonist to confront Western individualism with Eastern quietism.

The author’s works of non-fiction also include a study of literary translation, a story about the Medici and their invention of the modern banking system as well as three books about life in his homeland of choice, northern Italy. Some of his essays, which have been published in the »New York Review of Books«, among others, have also appeared in two volumes of collection pieces. The author has translated numerous Italian writes such as Moravia, Tabucchi, Calasso and Calvino into English. He has been awarded many prizes for his translations and his literary work. Parks lives in Milan.

© internationales literaturfestival berlin


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