Swiss literature in translation
The ch Series is a project run by the ch Foundation for Federal Cooperation. It has been supporting literary translations between the country's national languages since 1974 in the form of grants towards printing costs. In this way, it encourage literary exchange across linguistic barriers. Each year, between five and eight books by Swiss authors are translated into another of the country's national languages. This makes this series of books the smallest universal library in the world. It presents an exquisite selection of contemporary Swiss literature in the form of the translator's oeuvre. It is the most wonderful proof that translations provide the fifth volume of Swiss literature.
The ch Series is funded by voluntary contributions from all cantons. In addition to promoting literary translation, the ch Series organizes a variety of small and medium-sized events, as well as readings and opportunities to meet author-translator teams within Swiss secondary schools.
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40 years of the ch Series
In 2014, the ch Series was able reflect upon 40 years of existence. In this time, with its support, more than 206 books from Swiss authors have been translated into other national languages. The anniversary was marked with a number of events to draw attention to this outstanding collection of literature.
An exhibition presented the entire book series, displayed documents relating to the translators' and the Publishers' Commission's work, and screened footage of a school reading by an author-translator team from the ch Series. The exhibition toured Switzerland literary festivals.
A four-language anniversary special edition was also published to mark the occasion. Graphic designer Iza Hren designed the six-part book box. Consisting of six slipcases, held together with magnets, it contains six books translated under the ch Series scheme, from authors Catherine Colomb, Ruth Schweikert, Arno Camenisch, Peter von Matt, Philippe Jaccottet and Giovanni Orelli.
The anniversary edition can be ordered from the ch Series secretariat. It costs CHF 100, plus postage and packing.