Albert Vigoleis Thelen's The Island of  Second Sight Translated by Donald O. White 

WINNER PEN 2013

Donald White, translator of Island of Second Sight, wins the PEN 2013 Translation Award.

The judges made these comments: "Donald O. White’s translation of Albert Vigoleis Thelen’s The Island of Second Sight is unbelievably good. The novel, written in German in 1953 yet set on the Spanish island of Mallorca in the 1930s, presents a formidable challenge to the translator: Thelen’s writing is brilliantly witty, acerbic, self-aware, multilingual and ever conscious of the spirit of Cervantes and other mighty antecedents haunting its pages. In his translation, White gives us all this and more. He demonstrates a superb flair for comic timing and a seemingly unbounded linguistic inventiveness that by turns leaves us agog with admiration and has us convulsed in laughter. This is a translator’s translation—one to demonstrate just how very agile, resourceful and utterly delectable the best translators can be.
White has done us an immeasurable service in bringing into English Thelen’s forgotten masterpiece, and in doing so with such consummate and delicious mastery".

The Island of Second Sight e-book £4.99

A German masterpiece in English
for the first time……

Albert Vigoleis Thelen's
The Island of
Second Sight

Translated by Donald O. White 

New Introduction by Iain Bamforth and Afterword by Juergen Putz. 130mm x 197mm softcover
912 pages
£14.99
ISBN: 9781903385555

Other links
www.vigoleis.de
New books in German

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"One of the greatest books of the 20th century."
Thomas Mann

"You need to search far and wide to find a book that can measure up to this. If there is one book that really deserves to be called a 'literary event', it is undoubtable this one."
Siegfried Lenz in WELT AM SONNTAG

"Farcical, byzantine and philosophical: one of the most unusual
and entertaining books I have ever read."
Alan Riding in the New York Times Book Review

"Have just read a German novel which struck me a true work of art:
The Island of Second Sight".
Paul Celan

"I have known it for a long time: The greatest book of this (20th) century is: The island of Second Sight byAlbert Vigoleis Thelen".
Maarten t'Hart in:DIE ZEIT

"The Island of Second Sight is worth more than the entire output of the Gruppe 47. Thelen manages to portray the fullness of life in its mix of confusion, burlesque, absurdity, despair, adversity, meanness and it's overwhelming beauty which time and time again vanquishes everything."
Wiglaf Droste, taz 14.1.2004


The Island of Second SightHelen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize 2013

Honourable Mention awarded to Donald O. White for his translation of A.V. Thelen’s novel “The Island of Second Sight“(Overlook Press2012).

The jury stated: Donald O. White, with his translation of Albert Vigoleis Thelen’s The Island of Second Sight, has recovered for readers of English a work of grand proportions and manifest virtuosity. White is particularly successful in capturing and sustaining the language of Thelen’s wry, irreverent, penetrating, and often hedonistic humor, whether in the narrator’s voice or the many voices of his variegated cast of characters. This is a major effort for a landmark work of the mid-twentieth century.


Recent Review

"The Island of Second Sight is worth more than the entire output of the Gruppe 47. Thelen manages to portray the fullness of life in its mix of confusion, burlesque, absurdity, despair, adversity, meanness and it's overwhelming beauty which time and time again vanquishes everything."
The TLS, April 1st 2011 issue: "A Masterpiece of Mallorca"

"An almighty chronicle of Mallorquine society"
"Fabulous in all senses of the word" Iain Bamforth.

Amherst Magazine
"Thomas Mann praised The Island of Second Sight as "One of the greatest books of the 20th century." Indeed it is. The novel is comparable in profundity as well as in complexity to Mann's own Magic Mountain. It is in a class with two other massive German masterpieces more often acclaimed than read: Hermann Broch's The Death of Virgil and Robert Musil's The Man Without Qualities." Allen Guttman,

Read full review >

The Literary Review. March 2011
"There is a widely held misconception that Germans have no sense of humour. Here is evidence to the contrary as Thelen, belatedly, through his translator, gets a chance to show the English speaking world." Anthea Bell

Majorca Daily Bulletin. April 2011
"Masterpiece. For those of us who love Majorca and enjoy learning about its culture and history this is an indispensable read." Donald Trelford,