Ventseslav Konstantinov

Ventseslav Konstantinov in 2014

Ventseslav Konstantinov (Bulgarian: Венцеслав Константинов) (September 14, 1940 – April 22, 2019) was a Bulgarian writer, aphorist and translator of German and English literature.[1]


Konstantinov in 2004

Konstantinov was born in Sofia, the son of a music professor. He graduated in Germanic studies and philosophy and wrote a thesis on influences of German expressionism on Bulgarian poetry during the interwar period. Since 1987 he has been teaching translation of German-language poetry at the University of Sofia.[2]

1991–1992, Konstantinov was in Berlin as grantee of the Berliner Künstlerprogram (the Berlin Artistic Program) of the Deutsche Akademische Austaushdienst DAAD (the German Academic Exchange Service).[3] He had lectures and conference participations in Berlin, Leipzig, Marburg, Vienna, Prague, Bern, Zurich and Lausanne.[4] Konstantinov spent 1993–1994 at SUNY Geneseo, New York.[5]

He published poems and articles also made radio-contributions on German, Austrian, Swiss and Bulgarian literature, as well essays on Hans Sachs, Goethe, Schiller, Hölderlin, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Nikolaus Lenau, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Franz Kafka, Bertolt Brecht, Lion Feuchtwanger, Stefan Zweig, Ödön von Horváth, Elias Canetti, Max Frisch, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Heinrich Böll, Alfred Andersch, Martin Walser, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Christoph Meckel.[2]

His book translations amounted to 80 volumes.

Konstantinov lived in Sofia and in the Rhodope Mountains village Solishta, working as a freelance writer and translator.


  • 1993: The Translation Prize of the Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture, Vienna.
  • 2006: The Prize of the Bulgarian Translator's Union for his entire work.
  • 2013: The Literature Prize of Sofia for The Great German Poets from the 12th to the 20th Century. An Anthology. (2012)

Works (selection)


  • 2007: Writers on Creativity. Essays, Sofia, LiK, 276 p.
  • 2010: The Dream Flute. Literary Studies, Sofia, Ciela, 288 p.
  • 2011: Gobelin, Embroidered with Devil Tails. Essays, Sofia, Ciela, 148 p.
  • 2012: The Secret Life of the Rain. Aphorisms, Sofia, Ciela, 278 p.
  • 2013: The Invisible Certain Things. Poetry, Sofia, Ab, 32 p.
  • 2014: The Laughter of the Owl. Aphorisms, Sofia, Ab, 230 p.
  • 2014: German Literary Spaces. Essays, Sofia, Iztok-Zapad, 176 p.
  • 2016: From Tannhäuser to Schumacher. Essays, Sofia, Iztok-Zapad, 128 p.
  • 2017: Shoeing a Grasshopper. Novel of Memories, Sofia, Iztok-Zapad, 318 p.
  • 2018: Socrates' Саt. Aphorisms, Sofia, Colibri, 196 p.


The Great German Poets from the 12th to the 20th Century, 2012
66 Contemporary German Poets, 2018
  • Austrian Narrators, Sofia, Narodna Kultura, 1981, 344 p.
  • At the Timber-Line. 10 German-Speaking Narrators of the 20th Century, Sofia, BZNS, 1983, 490 p.
  • "I Softly Touch Your Hand". Poets from All Over the World on Mother and Motherhood, 1989.
  • WORLD LIGHT. German Poetry from Earliest Times to the Present – Preface, Compilation, and Translation into Bulgarian by Ventseslav Konstantinov 2004–2008.
  • THE DREAM FLUTE. German Narrators of the 20th Century – Preface, Compilation, and Translation into Bulgarian by Ventseslav Konstantinov 2006–2009.
  • 20th Century German Essays – Compilation and Translation into Bulgarian by Ventseslav Konstantinov 2009.
  • "I Quietly Dream of You...". German Love Poetry from Earliest Times to the Present – Compilation and Translation into Bulgarian by Ventseslav Konstantinov 2004–2008.
  • The Great German Poets from the 12th to the 20th Century. An Anthology by Ventseslav Konstantinov, Sofia, Ciela, 2012, 392 p.
  • 66 Contemporary German Poets. An Anthology by Ventseslav Konstantinov, Russe, Elias Canetti Publishing House, 2018, 628 p.


  • Jura Soyfer and Elias Canetti. Two Poets' Fates in Vienna during the In-Between-War Period – Jura Soyfer. Journal of Jura Soyfer Society, Vienna, 2, 1992.
  • Paradoxes sur le Traducteur. The Machine as Reader? Literary Translation and Computer-Translation – Literary Colloquium Berlin, 1992.
  • The Poet and His Executioner. Censorship Cuts in Dürrenmatt's Novel "The Suspicion" – University of Zurich, 1992.
  • In Search of Lost Identity. Bulgarian Literature in Transition – University of Bern, 1992
  • The Battle Between the Dead. Orthodox and Islamic Religion in Communist Bulgaria – Europe Rundschau, Vienna, 3, 1992.
  • In the Grand Scheme of History. The Image of Switzerland in Communist Bulgaria – Image and Encounter, Basel and Frankfurt a.M., 1996.
  • Elias Canetti – Austrian writer? Metamorphoses Between Rustschuk and Vienna – TRANS: Online Journal for Cultural Studies, Vienna, September 1999.


Thomas Mann, Letters, vol. I, 1988
  • Rainer Maria Rilke, Selected Lyric, 1979.
  • Max Frisch, Diaries, 2 vols, 1979.
  • Ödön von Horvath, The Eternal Philistine. Selected Prose, 1983
  • Ilse Aichinger, Mirror's Story. Selected Prose, 1984.
  • Stefan Zweig, The European Idea. Selected Essays, 1985.
  • Thomas Mann, Letters, 2 vols, 1988–1989.

Editor and translator

  • Bodo Uhse, March in September. Selected Stories, 1967.
  • Erich Kästner, Is Existentialism Curable? Selected Stories, 1968.
  • Lion Feuchtwanger, The House on "Green Way". Selected Stories, 1981.
  • Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis'. Selected Stories, 1982.
  • Martin Walser, Runaway Horse. Selected Stories, 1982.
  • Bertolt Brecht, The Trophies of Lucullus. Selected Stories, 1983.
  • Christoph Meckel, Hotel for Sleepwalkers. Selected Poems, 1984.
  • Hermann Hesse, The Stolen Suitcase. Selected Stories, 1986.
  • Kurt Tucholsky, Interview with Myself. Poems and Stories, 1986.
  • Heinrich Böll, The Dwarf and the Doll. Selected Stories, 1987.
  • Alfred Andersch, Diana and the Flute-Player. Selected Stories, 1988.
  • Erich Kästner, A Realistic Romance. Poetry and Prose, 2009.
  • Franz Kafka, In the Penal Colony. Selected Stories, 2010.
  • Heinrich Böll, Selected Stories, 2012.

Book translations

  • Bertolt Brecht, Life of Galileo. A Play, 1964.
  • Bertolt Brecht, Calendar Tales. Poems and Stories, 1975.
  • Bertolt Brecht, A Short Organum for the Theatre. Essay, 1985.
  • Bertolt Brecht, The Trial of Lucullus. Radio Play, 1985.
  • Max Frisch, Stiller. Novel, 1978, 1982, 2011.
  • Max Frisch, Homo Faber. Novel, 1973, 1981, 1995, 2012.
  • Max Frisch, Man in the Holocene. Story, 1984.
  • Max Frisch, Don Juan, or Love to Geometry. A Play, 1979.
  • Friedrich Dürrenmatt, The Suspicion. Novel, 1972, 1984, 1989.
  • Friedrich Dürrenmatt, The Tunnel. Story, 1981.
  • Elias Canetti, Wedding. Drama, 1980.
  • Stefan Zweig, Chess Story, 1973, 1987, 2013.
  • Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Essay, 1989.
  • Hans Magnus Enzensberger, The Sinking of "Titanic". A Comedy, 1990.
  • Erich Maria Remarque, Heaven Has No Favorites. Novel, 1972, 1985, 2009.
  • Katja Mann, My Unwritten Memoirs, 1989.
  • Friedrich Christian Delius, Mogadishu Window Seat. Novel, 1992.
  • Henrik Ibsen, The Master Builder. Drama, 1979.
  • Peter Hacks, Peace. A Play, 1985.
  • Peter Hacks, The Beautiful Helene. A Play, 1986.
  • Erich Kästner, The Man of Glass. Stories, 2016.
  • Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet, 2016.
  • Lion Feuchtwanger, Nero's Death. Stories, 2018.

Translated authors


  1. ^ Hristova, Nadezhda (April 22, 2019). "Prominent translator Ventseslav Konstantinov has died". Impressio. Sofia. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Венцеслав Константинов, LiterNet 2001–2009. Visited on February 13, 2001
  3. ^ Ein Gespräch mit Wenzeslav Konstantinov über deutsche Klassiker in Bulgarien, Wilhelm Tell, Faust und Lorelei, Zitty, Berlin, Nr. 4, 13. Februar 1992
  4. ^ Hans MühlethalerDürrenmatt für Bulgarien, Der Bund, Bern, Freitag, Nr. 49, 28. Februar 1992
  5. ^ Maureen Hegarty – Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence to Focus on Thoreau during Tenure on Campus, The Geneseo Compass, Geneseo, New York CityA., Vol. 23, No. 9, May 7, 1993

External links