Mati Sirkel, born in Paide in 1949, is an Estonian literary historian and one of the most prolific translators from German (even from Dutch and Swedish) to Estonian. He studied German Philology and Literature at Tartu University until 1972, worked at the publishing house „Perioodika“ during the 70's and as a freelance since 2004. After 1990 he was Secretary of the Estonian Writers' Union, between 1995 and 2004 he was its President, 1993-1996 member of the board of the EWC. Mati Sirkel lives in Tallinn.
Among his numerous translations the most important might be prose and theatre works by Goethe, Hölderlin, Kleist, Kafka, Rilke, Robert Walser, Alfred Döblin, Hans Henny Jahnn, Robert Musil, Hermann Broch, Heimito von Doderer, Heinrich Böll, Elias Canetti, Günter Grass, Thomas Bernhard, W. G. Sebald, Peter Handke.
Several awards, among them the Estonian White Cross Order 2001, Estonian State Coat of Arms 2006. Austrian State Prize for Literary Translation 2005. Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Poetry 2009. Friedrich Gundolf-Preis by Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung 2013.
Aruanne ühe eriskummalise mehe elu- ja surmakäigust (Translation of "Bericht vom Lebens- und Todeslauf eines merkwürdigen Mannes" from German)