Scudder, Bernard John

Scudder, Bernard John
Scudder, Bernard John

Bernard Scudder (1954-2007) was born in Canterbury and read English Literature at York University. He went to Iceland in 1977 where he studied the Icelandic language at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík. He was a member of the editorial team that produced the Complete Sagas of Icelanders in English translation, in 1997, which included the translations of some 30 native English speakers. He translated both Egil’s Saga and Grettir’s Saga and was responsible for editing the notoriously problematic and difficult skaldic poetry from all the submissions. His lyric translation of The Prophecy of the Seeress (Völuspá) appeared in 2001.

His renditions of a number of prize winning novels were published in England by Mare’s Nest Publishing including Thor Vilhjálmsson’s Justice Undone in 1995 [Grámosinn glóir,1986, Nordic Council Literary Prize 1988], Guðbergur Bergsson’s The Swan in 1997 [Svanurinn 1991, Icelandic Literary prize 1991] and Einar Már Guðmundsson’s Angels of the Universe in 1995 [Englar alheimsins 1993, Nordic Prize 1995]. He has more recently been translating the award winning crime novels of Arnaldur Indriðason including Silence of the Grave, Vintage Books 2006 [Grafarþögn 2002, winner of the CWA Golden Dagger] and The Draining Lake, Harvill Secker 2007 [Kleifarvatn 2004, winner of the CWA Golden Dagger]. Scudder’s poetry translations can be found in Brushstrokes of Blue (1994), Voices from across the Water (1997), Cold was that Beauty … (2002) and Fire & Ice: Nine poets from Scandinavia and the North (2004). An anthology of his poetry translations, Icelandic Poetry (ca. 870-2007), is due in 2012. Composures, a volume of his own poetry, was published in England in 1996.