Ville Keynäs
Humanist of the day

Ville Keynäs

Ville Keynäs translates literature into Finnish for a living. For the last few years he has focused on translating French literature. His next translation is Louis Ferdinand Céline's Linnasta linnaan (orig. D’un château l’autre, ‘Castle to Castle’), which will be published by Siltala in 2016.

Ville Keynäs

Born March 6, 1960, Helsinki

Bachelor of Arts (Comparative Literature) 1992, University of Helsinki

Full-time translator 1992–

Various odd jobs: nurse auxiliary at the Rinnekoti Foundation, movie poster tape remover at the Finnish Film Archive, internal post messenger and packager at Stockmann department store and logistics worker at Polar Express, which later became Scansped.

Occasional translation teacher in various courses organized by the University of Helsinki and in master’s classes of the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters.

Georges Perec: Tiloja/Avaruuksia (1992), orig. Espéces d'espaces, ‘Species of Spaces and Other Pieces’
Claude Lévi-Strauss: Tropiikin kasvot (1997), orig. Tristes Tropiques
Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Tutkielma ihmisten välisestä eriarvoisuudesta (2000), orig. Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes, ‘Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men’
Georges Perec: Elämä käyttöohje (2006), orig. La Vie mode d'emploi, ‘Life a User’s Manual’
François Rabelais: Pantagruelin kolmas kirja (2009), orig. Le tiers livre, ‘The Third Book’
Philippe Claudel: Varjojen raportti (2009), orig. Le rapport de Brodeck, ‘Brodeck’s Report’
Andreï Makine: Tuntemattoman miehen elämä (2010), orig. La Vie d'un homme inconnu, ‘The Life of an Unknown Man’
François Rabelais: Pantagruelin neljäs kirja (2014), orig. Le quart livre du Pantagruel, ‘The Fourth Book of Pantagruel’.

Tähtivaeltaja Award of the Helsinki Science Fiction Society 1993, 1994 and 2002
Nuori Voima Recognition Prize 1998
Maurice de Coppet Fund Prize 2007
WSOY Literature Foundation Prize 2008
France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Chevalier medal 2009
Mikael Agricola Prize for Best Translation of the Year 2010

Photo: Mika Federley
Written by Ville Keynäs and Tero Juutilainen (ed.)
Translated by Joe McVeigh