Articles Tagged “Europe ”

George Tabori

by Arnon Grunberg, August 2, 2007

On July 23 the theater director, playwright and writer George Tabori died. Unfortunately, Mr. Tabori is not widely known outside Germany and Austria. His relative obscurity doesn't do justice to the quality of his texts. (I cannot judge the quality of Mr. Tabori as a theater director. I have never seen… more »

A Rather Strange Career Change

by Arnon Grunberg, August 16, 2007

It has now been two weeks since I came to this small village in the Bavarian Alps. The village itself is pretty, and the lake nearby might be even described as beautiful. One could easily think that I traveled to Bavaria to spend my holiday here. Maybe I came here because of my childhood memories. Even… more »

La Paz Book Fair

by Arnon Grunberg, September 11, 2007

In the middle of the summer, I traveled to the capital of Bolivia, La Paz—where it was winter—for a literary festival. The festival was part of the La Paz Book Fair. Even La Paz has a book fair. It's small compared to the book fair of, let's say, Thessaloníki, Greece. The fair takes… more »

Promising Stuff

by Georgia de Chamberet, September 11, 2007

The autumn leaves fell as the school year began when I was a child; now they stay on the trees longer as indian summers become the norm. In Britain around 120,000 new books are published every year, of which 6,000 are novels. Around 1% of unsolicited (fiction) manuscripts received in a year are published.… more »

Writers Gather in Finsbury Park

by Georgia de Chamberet, September 17, 2007

A blue and white striped tent, 30 white plastic chairs, a table covered in books supplied by Serpent's Tail, Apis Books, Legend Press, 12 writers and a microphone: Welcome to the Story Tent at FinFest: One World, One Park Community Festival in Finsbury Park, North London. No glitz or queues waiting for… more »

A Few Questions for Anna Moschovakis, Translator of “The Engagement”

by Chad Post, September 20, 2007

To add to the ongoing discussion about Georges Simenon's The Engagement, we asked translator Anna Moschovakis a couple of questions. Q: How did this project come about? A: I was lucky this time because the project came to me. I had already worked with Edwin Frank, the editor of New York Review Books… more »

Reading Bioy Casares

by Arnon Grunberg, October 1, 2007

I had never heard the name Adolfo Bioy Casares until I read a lengthy review of his diaries in Times Literary Supplement What Eckermann was to Goethe, Mr. Bioy was to Jorge Luis Borges. He aspired to be him. Mr. Bioy's diaries are 1644 pages (even in the edited version), but based on the review,… more »

Free Aung San Suu Kyi!

by Georgia de Chamberet, October 12, 2007

As the feeding frenzy that is Frankfurt Book Fair gets into full swing, a more mindful energy is fuelling the monks leading the people power revolution against the Military Junta in Burma. Last Saturday, thousands of demonstrators marched from Millbank, looped across the River Thames, and ended up in… more »

A Foot Patrol in Oruzgan, Afghanistan

by Arnon Grunberg, November 2, 2007

Recently I flew from Afghanistan to the Netherlands along with some Dutch troops going on R&R for two weeks. A day later, I traveled to Paris to promote a book. The difference could not have been bigger. Seated in the apartment of my French publisher on the Boulevard Saint-Michel, I had a conversation… more »

High Noon in Linz

by Arnon Grunberg, November 21, 2007

I grew up without weapons. While nobody in my family was a vegetarian—or ever thought of becoming one—I was taught that hunting was a pastime for those who despised science and art. The philosopher Roger Scruton would have vehemently disagreed with my education, but no matter. When I was… more »

Maxim Biller

by Arnon Grunberg, December 12, 2007

A few weeks ago, I moderated an evening with Maxim Biller at the Goethe Institute in New York. Maxim Biller is a German author, although he was born in Prague and only moved to Germany when he was ten years old. He is definitely German. The Israeli newspaper H'aaretz published a profile on Biller earlier… more »

A Case of Serendipity?

by Georgia de Chamberet, December 18, 2007

In one week, I bumped into a writer I had the pleasure of publishing in 1994, and his first translator in English, neither of whom I had seen for over ten years. Daniel Pennac (winner of this year's Prix Renaudot for Chagrin d'école) and the first Children's Laureate, Quentin Blake, were in conversation… more »

Lori Berenson

by Arnon Grunberg, January 17, 2008

In the early fall of 2006, I traveled to Peru to visit an American woman, Lori Berenson, who has been incarcerated in Peru since December 1995 on charges of terrorism. I wrote about it for a Dutch newspaper and I also mentioned my trip on this blog. Back then, I traveled to Peru with Lori's father,… more »

Old Labour, New Labour

by Georgia de Chamberet, January 18, 2008

For independents committed to discovering and showcasing new voices—be they home-grown or from foreign climes—2008 looms as a year of reckoning. In October 2007, Arts Council England's (ACE) popular and energetic literature director Gary McKeone, who greatly improved literature funding, was… more »

Reading Rutka Laskier

by Arnon Grunberg, February 4, 2008

From to time to time, a Dutch publisher will ask me to write a preface or an afterword to a book he plans to publish. I have written prefaces for authors as different as Machiavelli, Stendhal and Boris Vian. Last November I received a letter from a publisher, asking if I was interested in writing a preface… more »

The A to Z of Literary Translation

by Georgia de Chamberet, February 14, 2008

Whilst writing about English PEN's "Writers in Translation" committee, of which I am a member—tapping into my experiences as an editor, agent and publicist—the idea of doing a fun, but far from definitive listing, the A to Z Of Literary Translation, came to mind. oOo Artistry and adaptation… more »

Literary Malaise

by Arnon Grunberg, February 17, 2008

Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about literary malaise, or to be more precise, we were talking about malaise in general. We reached the conclusion that there are quite a few different types of malaise, and that a certain comfort can be found in malaise. What would a politician running… more »

The A to Z of Literary Translation: D to F

by Georgia de Chamberet, February 23, 2008

Dialogue and debate on issues surrounding literary translation at talks, workshops, summer schools and residence programmes—along with translation studies courses covering linguistic concepts, theories and practice—are crucial for professionals in the field to connect and keep up to date. Ego… more »

The A to Z of Literary Translation: G to I

by Georgia de Chamberet, March 5, 2008

Grants, awards and prizes such as the Nobel Prize in literature, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation, help put writers and their translators under the spotlight and boost sales. The TA's Translation… more »

The A to Z of Literary Translation: J to L

by Georgia de Chamberet, March 18, 2008

Jerome of Stridonium is the patron saint of theological learning in the Roman Catholic Church and is also recognized as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Remembered in particular for his version of the Old Testament based on the Hebrew texts, he is credited for the principle of translating ísense… more »

The Literature of the Future

by Arnon Grunberg, March 18, 2008

A couple of weeks ago on a cold night I walked to the Mercantile Library—for the first time in all these years that I have been living in Manhattan I have to admit—to listen to a discussion about literature in translation, organized by this excellent website. The space turned out a little bit… more »

The A to Z of Literary Translation: M to O

by Georgia de Chamberet, March 26, 2008

Market share of world literature is dominated by U.S. publishing conglomerates and literary agents who, together with their British counterparts, are increasingly promoting celebrities rather than professional writers in order to maximize revenue and profits. Thanks to the former British empire and today's… more »

Preparations for a Close Escape

by Arnon Grunberg, April 7, 2008

In preparation for my trip to Iraq in May, I have now met with two war correspondents. One of them is an American. We met in a bar in Brooklyn. The other is a Dutch war correspondent with whom I had dinner in Amsterdam. The American correspondent was a man who is more or less my age. As is often the… more »

The A to Z of Literary Translation: P to R

by Georgia de Chamberet, April 12, 2008

Publishers in the independent sector are fundamental to ensure variety in the marketplace; they are surviving despite stiff competition and the discount war, (ref. Society of Authors, The Future of Independent Publishing). Tired preconceptions continue to hamper the progress of translations in the UK… more »

The A to Z of Literary Translation: S to V

by Georgia de Chamberet, April 24, 2008

Schools of thought about the rights and wrongs of translation are summarized by Susan Sontag as follows: íI suppose that the two opposed schools of translators are those who feel, like Nabokov, that a good translation has to be a literal transcription of the original, no matter how flat or awkward,… more »

London Calling

by Georgia de Chamberet, April 24, 2008

The wilderness years are over for Arabic writers in translation it seems, as they were in the spotlight this week in London's Earls Court. Arabia Books was launched in the run up to the London Book Fair—the agenda being to publish the best contemporary fiction from the Arabic World. The venture… more »

Pints with Roddy Doyle

by Arnon Grunberg, April 28, 2008

The first time that I drank Guinness was also the first time that I met Roddy Doyle. It was the winter of 1997. My Dutch publisher and I had decided to meet in Dublin, which is halfway between New York and Amsterdam more or less. Since Roddy Doyle was published by the same house in the Netherlands that… more »

Dutch Translation Workshops in Italy

by Arnon Grunberg, May 15, 2008

For the last 10 days I have been touring through Italy giving workshops at universities where Dutch is being taught. I was surprised to hear that there are five Italian cities where you can study Dutch: Naples, Rome, Bologna, Padua and Trieste. I have been to all of these cities the last 10 days, with… more »

The Background Noise in Iraq

by Arnon Grunberg, June 1, 2008

Last week I was embedded with the 25th infantry division north of Baghdad in the so-called Sunni Triangle. Presently I'm in the Green Zone. A friend of mine in New York asked me to pay attention to the noise here. He had been informed that on most military bases in Iraq, one could hear a permanent noise… more »

Waltic on the Baltic

by Samantha Schnee, July 10, 2008

Last week over six hundred Writers and Literary Translators (WALT) convened in Stockholm for the inaugural International Congress (IC). Over ninety countries were represented by writers speaking—and writing—in a variety of languages. Taking its cue from the UN's Declaration of Human Rights,… more »

Writing the Train in Switzerland

by Arnon Grunberg, July 24, 2008

Last summer, I worked for almost three weeks as a chambermaid in a family hotel in the southern part of Bavaria. I wrote about this experience in a daily column for a Dutch newspaper. Later, an extract of these columns was published in the US in Culture + Travel magazine. My objective was not to reveal… more »

Reading Gregor von Rezzori

by Arnon Grunberg, August 18, 2008

A Dutch newspaper asked me to review the recently published Dutch translation of Gregor von Rezzori's Memoirs of an Anti-Semite. I have to admit that the name Rezzori vaguely rang a bell, but that was about it. He is much better known in the US, where Memoirs of an Anti-Semite was published in the New… more »

An Invisible Cabal in the Sky

by Irakli Iosebashvili, August 19, 2008

On August 7th, Russia responded to a Georgian attack on the capital of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, with a massive deployment of troops across the border and attacks on the Georgian cities of Gori and Poti. This open act of aggression brought an end to the "frozen conflict" between the countries that has… more »

Truth and War Literature

by Arnon Grunberg, September 16, 2008

As of Monday September 8, I've been teaching at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Not forever, thank God, just for one semester. One course that I'm teaching side-by-side with a philosopher is about Plato's Symposium. I'm not a Plato specialist, and neither is the philosopher. For close reading,… more »

Imagination Can Take You Everywhere

by Georgia de Chamberet, October 1, 2008

All work and no play describes my summer this year. So I headed for the Arts Club in Mayfair with delight to celebrate the publication of Andrew Logan: An Artistic Adventure. One of the first

Words with Borders…and Borders and Borders

by The Editors, October 5, 2008

With regrets for the delay in commenting on this, here's an interesting piece from the New York Times on the complicated and often confounding interplay of language, culture and politics in the Caucasus. It's an intriguing look at the fate of the lingua franca that falls out of grace, and provides some… more »

Le Clezio wins Nobel

by The Editors, October 9, 2008

In a decision that none of our in-house bookmakers called, French author J. M. G. Le Clezio has won this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. Dig into the WWB archives for a look at his work, in this excerpt from his book Wandering Star

My Book Party in Eupen

by Arnon Grunberg, October 28, 2008

In September my new novel was published in the Netherlands. The book launch seems to have become an inevitable part of the publication of a new book, at least in the Netherlands. A publisher in the U.S. once explained to me that book launches were considered a waste of money, but that if I wanted to… more »

A Treaty of Love

by Arnon Grunberg, November 23, 2008

After my trip to Lebanon in the spring of 2007, I traveled to London to interview the Lebanese-Palestinian author Samir El-Youssef. El-Youssef has a beautiful and contagious laugh. That was the first thing I noticed over lunch in a Lebanese restaurant. The second thing that became clear was that El-Youssef… more »

Toussaint, Camus

by Bud Parr, December 3, 2008

Martin Riker from Dalkey Archive Press has an interesting piece at "The Front Table"* on his love for Jean-Philippe Toussaint's work. Regarding why it's important to publish several of Toussaint's books together, which Dalkey is doing, he says "This is not just about a book. Here's a writer who is doing… more »

Everything for Literature

by Arnon Grunberg, January 4, 2009

There is a myth that journalistic endeavors interfere with the true vocation of a novelist: writing novels. I find that the opposite is true. My journalistic excursions have, if anything, enhanced my work as a novelist. In early December, I traveled to Ukraine on a so-called íromance tour.ë… more »

Translated Around the Web

by Bud Parr, January 28, 2009

If you're reading 2666 yet not interested in the gossip columns on Roberto Bolaño, you may enjoy the thoughtful conversation going on about the book in this "bolaño-l" discussion group, hosted by the person who has a blog devoted to the author, "Las obras de Roberto Bolaño." There's… more »

This Thursday: A Conversation on Miguel de Cervantes’s “Don Quixote” with translator Edith Gros

by Bud Parr, February 2, 2009

This is going to be a great event. There are few greater novels and fewer still where the translator plays such an important role. The Quixote in Spanish, in all its stories and stories within stories, is a telling of a story from one person to another in Spanish, but then from Spanish translated into… more »

Book World

by Arnon Grunberg, February 6, 2009

Recently I had lunch with a friend of mine in Manhattan. We had not even finished our sandwiches when my friend received her first text message. Usually I find it annoying when somebody starts reading text messages over lunch or dinner, but for parents with young children I make exceptions. My friend… more »

“With me, those who seem to be the last come first.”: Meira Eliot on Bohumil Hrabal

by Meira Eliot, February 17, 2009

Walking into the rather cramped room, you will see among other items on the heavy desk, a much used Consul typewriter, an opened, slightly crumpled pack of cheap cigarettes, a couple of pencils, a coffee mug, and an opened hardback book. Behind the desk in the simply furnished room, on bare floorboards,… more »

film icon Words Without Borders Video: Edith Grossman on Don Quixote as Tragedy and Comedy

by Bud Parr, March 4, 2009

Here's a clip from our last Conversations on Great Contemporary Literature with Edith Grossman discussing Don Quixote as Tragedy and Comedy. There are more videos from this event at our Words Without Borders Youtube Channel. And be sure to check out our next event in the Conversations on Great Contemporary… more »

An Athenian Story…from Nigeria

by Gazmend Kapllani, March 13, 2009

As part of our Greek offerings this month, we're featuring a number of pieces written by Gazmand Kapllani, an extract from whose Short Border Handbook is available on WWB. The pieces all deal with the immigrant experience in today's Athens, one of the most diverse cities in southern Europe. I started… more »

On Kaspar Hauser

by Austin Woerner, March 20, 2009

A piece in this month's issue of WWB, by the Greek writer Dimitris Chatzis, compared the plight of the immigrant to the legend of Kaspar Hauser. For those who haven't heard of Kaspar, a brief intro: in 1828, a boy of sixteen years was discovered walking down the road in Nuremberg, Germany. He carried… more »

An Athenian Story…from Iran

by Gazmend Kapllani, March 20, 2009

This is the second installment of a series of "Athenian Stories" from Gazmend Kapllani as a complement to our Greek issue this month. In these short dispatches, Kapllani documents the experience of immigrants living in Athens, one of the most diverse cities in southern Europe. Links are available at… more »

An Athenian Story…from Vietnam

by Gazmend Kapllani, March 23, 2009

This is the third installment of a series of "Athenian Stories" from Gazmend Kapllani as a complement to our Greek issue this month. In these short dispatches, Kapllani documents the experience of immigrants living in Athens, one of the most diverse cities in southern Europe. Links are available at the… more »

An Athenian Story…from Afghanistan

by Gazmend Kapllani, March 27, 2009

This is the fourth installment in a series of "Athenian Stories" from Gazmend Kapllani as a complement to our Greek issue this month. In these short dispatches, Kapllani documents the experience of immigrants living in Athens, one of the most diverse cities in southern Europe. Links are available at… more »

An Athenian Story from…the Alexandra Birth Clinic

by Gazmend Kapllani, March 31, 2009

This is the fifth and final installment in a series of "Athenian Stories" from Gazmend Kapllani as a complement to our Greek issue this month. In these short dispatches, Kapllani documents the experience of immigrants living in Athens, one of the most diverse cities in southern Europe. Links are available… more »

Reading Daniel Kehlmann

by Arnon Grunberg, April 7, 2009

Daniel Kehlmann (born in 1975) is the star of German literature. His historical novel Die Vermessung der Welt (published in the US by Vintage as Measuring the World) sold more than 1.4 million copies in Germany alone. The English newspaper The Guardian wrote in an article about Kehlmann: íFor… more »

The Way You Speak about a Cold

by Arnon Grunberg, May 4, 2009

Moldova is a forgotten country. Even in Europe, many people hardly know of its existence. Forgotten countries are often poor, and this is also the case with Moldova. It's one of the poorest countries in Europe. Recently, Moldova made it into the international press. Demonstrations against its communist… more »

The Fantasy and the Far-Out

by Bud P., June 4, 2009

Why do people want to listen to an author when they have their books? From time to time, I'm plagued by this question. The last week of May, the Third International Forum on the Novel took place in the French city of Lyon. The line-up was impressive, from Aharon Appelfeld to Will Self, and from Adam… more »

Embedded in Dutch Suburbia

by Arnon Grunberg, July 3, 2009

Suburbia is a mythical place. At least, it is if you believe quite a few novels, ranging from Updike's Couples to Yates' Revolutionary Road. And one could argue that Madame Bovary takes place in a village that is just suburbia's predecessor. Suburbia appears to be place where middle class morality is… more »

Summer Jobs in Europe

by Arnon Grunberg, August 7, 2009

Since 2007, I have been doing ísummer jobsë every year. The purpose of a summer job is to earn money, obviously, but the purpose of my summer jobs has been to write about my experiences. I worked as chambermaid in Bavaria and then I was a steward in the dining car of a Swiss train. The logical… more »

The Task of the Novelist at the University

by Arnon Grunberg, September 3, 2009

Like last year, I am going to teach two courses in the Netherlands this fall. One course is on two books by Coetzee, at the University of Leiden, and one is on genetic modification from a literary point of view at the University of Wageningen. According to its website, Wageningen is íthe leading… more »

The Author’s Voice and the Translator’s

by Arnon Grunberg, October 6, 2009

Recently, I traveled to Paris to assist my publisher there with the promotion of one of my novels that had been translated into French. Any excuse to visit Paris is a good excuse. It's easy to forget the hardship of the publicist. The publicist has to promote books that other people decided were… more »

Today in International Lit

by David Varno, October 13, 2009

The Nobel Prize With the announcement of Herta Müller as Nobel Prize winner for literature comes the continued sense that the Nobel committee is challenging the English-speaking world to be more aware of what is happening in Europe. Friday's Guardian piece responded positively, while Lev Grossman,… more »

Literature as Social Experiment

by Arnon Grunberg, December 8, 2009

A literary magazine in Romania published my nonfiction story about a group of American men who traveled to Ukraine in the hopes of finding a bride, or sex, or a combination of both. The tour was organized by a marriage agency in Arizona. Exactly one year ago, I embarked on this tour with them, disguised… more »

A Dispatch from European Literature Days

by Lucy Popescu, October 6, 2010

I’ve just returned from the tiny town of Spitz on the River Danube in Austria’s picturesque wine-growing region of Wachau. I was attending the European Literature Days festival, organized to encourage cross-cultural dialogue about literature with a particularly European slant. The festival… more »