Pike — Burton, a translator and scholar of comparative literature and German, died in New York City on December 22, 2022 at the age of 92. In 1993 he was awarded the Order of Merit by the Municipality of Klagenfurt, Austria, for his extensive academic work on Musir. He is also the author of The City in Contemporary Literature and translated Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther. Rilke’s “Notes on the Marte Laurel Bridge” and Gerhard Meyer’s “Death Island” won the 2012 Helen and Kurt Wolf Prize. In 1966 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2016 the Friedrich Ulfers Prize for Defending German Literature in the United States. Born in Boston in 1930, Burton graduated from Haverford College and received an MA and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. He studied in Paris and Strasbourg and has taught worldwide, including at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He was chairman of Queen’s College, Graduate Center and Cornell University, where he met and became a close friend of the literary critic Paul de Mann. With a focus on accurately and seamlessly reflecting the source text, Burton inspired and ushered in a new generation of translators.
Published by The New York Times on January 7, 2023.