auf der Höhe der Zeit

English translation: (truly) in tune with the times (our times)/truly understanding the (our) times

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:auf der Höhe der Zeit
English translation:(truly) in tune with the times (our times)/truly understanding the (our) times
Entered by: Bernhard Sulzer

15:08 Jan 10, 2007
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
German term or phrase: auf der Höhe der Zeit
I feel like this should be obvious but the English equivalent is escaping me. Context is an article about Don DeLillo on the occasion of his 70th birthday in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. The sentence reads: "Wenn DeLillo in einem seiner frühen Romane einen 'Professor für latente Geschichte' auftreten lässt: dann hat sich inzwischen erwiesen, dass dieser Ehrentitel - nebst dem eines Schriftstellers auf der Höhe seiner Zeit und eines blendenden Stilisten - auch dem Autor gebühren würde, der heute seinen 70. Geburtstag feiert."
mill2
Local time: 06:32
(truly) in tune with the times (our times)/truly understanding the (our) times
Explanation:
http://www.book-summary-review.com/Underworld-A-Novel-068484...


The author is portrayed as a very knowledgable individual as far as the history of the last 50 years is concerned.
So, "auf der Höhe seiner Zeit" could refer to those times - all 50 years, sort of like "immer auf der Höhe seiner Zeit."
maybe "in tune with the times" (= truly understanding our times)would be fitting although it smells a tiny bit of "modern, fashionable", which is clearly not meant.
I just thought I'd post it.


or maybe:
an author whose works are truly in step with the times (our times)


http://www.abendblatt.de/daten/2006/10/13/623916.html
auf der Höhe der Zeit


http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_4930682
in step with the times
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1919...
out of step with the times

http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,525036434,00.html
http://www.wayneandtamara.com/leadingminds.htm
in tune with the times

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day9 hrs (2007-01-12 01:02:48 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

or, a variation on Millay's own suggestion:
truly in touch with the times (our times)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day9 hrs (2007-01-12 01:07:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

more on DeLillo:
http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1214
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_DeLillo

Selected response from:

Bernhard Sulzer
United States
Local time: 01:32
Grading comment
I still haven't decided what I'll ultimately use, but this comes the closest. I didn't realize this was going to be such a complicated question--thanks very much to all of you for your thoughts.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +2(truly) in tune with the times (our times)/truly understanding the (our) times
Bernhard Sulzer
3 +2a truly contemporary writer
Rolf Klischewski, M.A.
4 +1at the peak of his time
Purdue_PhD
3 +2at the top of his game
Jonathan MacKerron
3 +1with his finger on the pulse of his time
Henry Schroeder
4at the pinnacle of his success
Ingeborg Gowans (X)


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
a truly contemporary writer


Explanation:
An option from a non-native speaker... (C;

Rolf Klischewski, M.A.
Local time: 06:32
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Karin Maack: As a German native speaker I don't know either whether this would work in English but the idea is correct.
7 hrs

agree  Francis Lee (X): Just a question: could it be that the others have misunderstood the German? I was also wondering whether "Zeit" here means era etc./ In der Tat. Perhaps "supremely contemporary" or "contemporary edge" o.ä. ...
17 hrs
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
at the top of his game


Explanation:
another option

Jonathan MacKerron
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 67

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  roguestate: Perfect
4 mins
  -> thx

neutral  Bernhard Sulzer: I suggested "at the top of his craft" (at first). I hid this answer, however, after new context was posted.
1 hr

agree  Paul Cohen: Perhaps a contemporary writer at the top of his game? The baseball reference is excellent. Rolf also has a point. The German implies that he is a keen observer of contemporary culture.
20 hrs
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
at the peak of his time


Explanation:
in literature (literary theory or biographies), when they talk about authors in their prime they often say" at the peak of his time"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 34 mins (2007-01-10 15:43:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

you can find one example of this usage in regards to F. Scott Fitzgerald:
http://www.princeton.edu/~paw/web_exclusives/features/featur...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2007-01-10 16:23:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here are a couple of more links where "peak of his ...." is used...mostly it's "peak of his career or fame" but since your source text used "Zeit" I suggested "time" but you could also say "times"... Or you can just type in "delillo at the peak of his time" in google and you'll find several links...hope this helps
www.stratford-upon-avon.co.uk/wslife.htm
faculty.goucher.edu/eng211/Shakespeare--King%20Lear.htm
www.irishclans.com/articles/famirish/wildeo.html
www.seattleweekly.com/arts/0118/arts-borchert.php
www.twainquotes.com/sarony/sarony.html


Purdue_PhD
Local time: 01:32
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in TurkishTurkish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Ken Cox: your FSF ref has 'at the peak of his fame', which isn't the same, and 'at the peak of his time' doesn't sound very idiomatic to me.
1 hr
  -> Yes they're not the same but in my 15 years of being a literature scholar I have come upon this term "peak of his/her time" very often and therefore believe that it is idiomatic enough. Also, if you enter "peak of his time" on google, you'll see more uses

neutral  Francis Lee (X): I think "peak" could be the key here/ But it's now clear we're talking about the current "era" ...
6 hrs

agree  Karin Maack: idiomatic or not - but this is what the term means. If it refered only to personal success, it would not be called an "Ehrentitel".
6 hrs
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
at the pinnacle of his success


Explanation:
would be my first thought

Ingeborg Gowans (X)
Canada
Local time: 02:32
Works in field
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 8
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1 day 9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
(truly) in tune with the times (our times)/truly understanding the (our) times


Explanation:
http://www.book-summary-review.com/Underworld-A-Novel-068484...


The author is portrayed as a very knowledgable individual as far as the history of the last 50 years is concerned.
So, "auf der Höhe seiner Zeit" could refer to those times - all 50 years, sort of like "immer auf der Höhe seiner Zeit."
maybe "in tune with the times" (= truly understanding our times)would be fitting although it smells a tiny bit of "modern, fashionable", which is clearly not meant.
I just thought I'd post it.


or maybe:
an author whose works are truly in step with the times (our times)


http://www.abendblatt.de/daten/2006/10/13/623916.html
auf der Höhe der Zeit


http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_4930682
in step with the times
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1919...
out of step with the times

http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,525036434,00.html
http://www.wayneandtamara.com/leadingminds.htm
in tune with the times

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day9 hrs (2007-01-12 01:02:48 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

or, a variation on Millay's own suggestion:
truly in touch with the times (our times)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day9 hrs (2007-01-12 01:07:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

more on DeLillo:
http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1214
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_DeLillo



Bernhard Sulzer
United States
Local time: 01:32
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 55
Grading comment
I still haven't decided what I'll ultimately use, but this comes the closest. I didn't realize this was going to be such a complicated question--thanks very much to all of you for your thoughts.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Henry Schroeder: Looks like you're closest after the explanation in the note
6 hrs
  -> thank you, Henry!

agree  Lancashireman: Good options given the asker's own stated interpretation.
11 hrs
  -> thank you, Andrew!
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1 day 15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
with his finger on the pulse of his time


Explanation:
There are a number of idioms related to "pulse" that convey the meaning you're looking for:

http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:ZUYGGUnnJGMJ:idioms.the...

Henry Schroeder
United States
Local time: 01:32
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 88
1 corroborated select project
in this pair and field What is ProZ.com Project History(SM)?

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Bernhard Sulzer
10 hrs
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