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Thread: Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

  1. #1
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    Post Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

    Last night I received an email to say that Eric Dickens passed away recently in his sleep in a hospital in Sweden, where he lived and was being treated for an illness. Eric was a translator, primarily from Estonian, but he seemed to have a grasp of Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, and more. Also, he was a member of this forum, active between its first days in April 2008 to some time in 2013.

    Here's an interview with him talking about himself, Estonian literature, and translation.

    When he says "I may have already translated more Estonian literature than anyone else" one wonders who else will be bringing Estonian works to us in future?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

    Oh god, I'm hating this! Eric was somebody I respected immensely, even when we disagreed. I always thought he was one of the smartest people I had ever met; I was sad when he decided to stop contributing to the forum (in hindsight, I wonder if his decision was health-related?) Rest in peace, gentle and irascible soul.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

    I'm shocked by reading this news. Eric was not only a brilliant mind, able to translate great Estonian writers, but I might dare to say he has been the greatest contributor to this forum which I love and consider Home.
    He was very passionate at what he did and defended it with everything he had. I have nothing left to say than repeat Liam's great words. Rest in peace, gentle and irascible soul.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

    I frequented this forum for years before I decided to register, and the archived posts with Eric were always a pleasure of wit, sarcasm, ideological consistency, and combative intelligence. He quit before I joined, but he certainly tinted how I viewed this place.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

    This is very sad news. Eric was a smart, passionate arguer in many subjects. I enjoyed reading his contributions to this forum and missed him when he decided to leave. Now he leaves us for good, fortunatelly leaving behind his translations from the Estonian as a testament to his talent. May he rest in peace.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

    Sad news. I can only echo the words of all you. Very intelligent, wit always with a sarcasm, very polished in his arguments as I remember in this forum. He will definitely be known for opening the doors of Estonian Literature to the rest of the world. Miss you friend, may your soul rest in peace..
    Jayan



  7. #7
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    Default Re: Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

    I couldn't get Stewart's link to open, but I think I found the interview he mentioned: http://www.eestielu.com/en/life/18-p...ary-translator
    Eric had been battling pancreatic cancer at the time of his passing.

    I found a couple of comments online from fellow translators who noted Eric's "ardent" and "outspoken" contributions to a blog on literary translation. These comments described vintage Eric and made me smile on such a sad day. Eric was a conversation starter who was never afraid to stir the pot on this forum. Unfortunately for me, I never fully appreciated the wit, wisdom, and passion of his contributions here until after he stopped posting. His departure from the WLF several years ago created a huge void and I suddenly found myself longing for his erudite, provocative, and occasionally infuriating posts. He has been and will be missed.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

    Good night sour prince. May you be at that big library were there are copies of Cardenio, the complete Sappho, the entire Satyricon, the original Egyptian version of the Book of Job and all other lost masterpieces.
    To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations, such is a pleasure beyond compare.
    Yoshida Kenko

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

    Rest in peace Eric

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

    I only interacted with Eric once in this forum.


    As a reader of this forum, I always enjoy finding his smart comments under the Gombrowicz profile pic. They're usually insightful and engaging. Comments like his have helped me in figuring out what to read next, or in getting a sense of what other people might think about a book I just read. I have to say the same for Liam, Mirabell, Stewart, Daniel and a bunch of the big (current and former) contributors to this forum.


    I can imagine that with forums and blogs, it can be sort of fuzzy to get a sense of how much readers appreciate the effort. It might be super old fashioned, but today I thought of leaving a short Thank You note to the big contributors that make this space possible.


    I didn't know that the Eric that posted here was such an accomplished translator. I'll try to catch up and read some of the Jan Kross translations.

    Non Omnis Moriar.

    Peace be with him.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

    I was very sorry to learn of Eric's passing.

    I remember the exchanges I had with him on the forum - they were sometimes pretty intense, but I always felt that he cared much more about literary translation, and especially the translation of Nordic literature, than he did about being polite or superficially amiable, and respected him for that. That we fell out in the end was inevitable, I guess.

    David McDuff
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_McDuff
    http://nordicvoices.blogspot.co.uk

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Eric Dickens (1953 - 2017)

    Somehow I missed this news and I am very sad and shocked to learn about his passing away! Eric definately was one of the attractions to this forum and I remember the lively discussions with him. In those years he sent me private messages through this forum two or three times about his (not so flattering) view on Dutch literature. Always in perfect Dutch, polyglot as he was. The silent hope that he would come back to this forum is now in vain. Hard to accept. Rest in peace, Eric.

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