Watson Kirkconnell

Watson Kirkconnell, OC FRSC (16 May 1895 – 26 February 1977) was a Canadian scholar, university administrator and translator. He is well known in Iceland, Eastern and Central Europe and among Canadians of different origins for his translations of national poetry,[citation needed] particularly from Hungarian, Ukrainian, Russian and Serbo-Croatian. He collaborated with distinguished scholars and academics of his time in perfecting the translations, including literary critic Pavle Popović. One of his most remarkable translations is The Bards of Wales, a poem of Hungarian poet János Arany.

Watson Kirkconnell
Born(1895-05-16)16 May 1895
Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
Died26 February 1977(1977-02-26) (aged 81)
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada
AwardsOrder of Canada

After World War II, Kirkconnell wrote a poem about Draža Mihailović, alleging that the Serb general's execution on July 17, 1946 at the hands of Josip Broz Tito's victorious Yugoslav Partisans had followed a show trial and that charges of terrorist war crimes against civilians and of Chetnik collaboration with occupying Italian and German Axis forces had been trumped up. The execution solidified Communist rule in Yugoslavia for the next four decades, before the federal state ultimately disintegrated into civil war after Tito's death, when latent internal tensions were no longer being suppressed.

From 1948 to 1964, he was the ninth President of Acadia University. He was also on numerous occasions shortlisted for the prestigious Nobel Prize.[citation needed]

In 1968, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "for his services at home and abroad as an educator, scholar and writer".[citation needed] In 1936, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

External linksEdit

  • János Arany: Bards of Wales - translated by Watson Kirkconnell
  • They’ve Walled up Every Window ... - One of Tibor Tollas's poems in English, translated by Watson Kirkconnell
  • Woodsworth, Judith (April 2000). "Watson Kirkconnell and the "Undoing of Babel": a Little-Known Case in Canadian Translation History" (PDF). Meta. 45 (1): 13–28. doi:10.7202/004618ar – via Érudit.
  • Faulkner, Tom (16 December 2013). "Watson Kirkconnell". The Canadian Encyclopedia (online ed.). Historica Canada.
  • Coleman, Heather J. (2016). "Watson Kirkconnell on "The place of Slavic studies in Canada": a 1957 speech to the Canadian Association of Slavists". Canadian Slavonic Papers. 58 (4): 386–397. doi:10.1080/00085006.2016.1239858.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Frederic William Patterson
President of Acadia University
1948-July 1964
Succeeded by
James MacDonald Richardson Beveridge