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16 May 1895|
Port Hope, Ontario
|Died||26 February 1977
Wolfville, Nova Scotia
|Awards||Order of Canada|
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, 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.
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.
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". In 1936, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
- 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
- Watson Kirkconnell and the "Undoing of Babel": a Little-Known Case in Canadian Translation History
- Watson Kirkconnell at The Canadian Encyclopedia
Frederic William Patterson
|President of Acadia University
James MacDonald Richardson Beveridge
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