Archives

August, 2007

Paradiso Re-translated

Jean and Robert Hollander have just come out with the last installment of their translation of the Divine Comedy. The release of the final canticle of the Hollanders' triad is discussed in this week's New Yorker. Jean Hollander deals with the verse in the pair's translations, and Robert, ostensibly with…...

Strange Book in a Strange Land

If the life of the mind is what binds us across differences of nation, belief and race, then surely bookstores are the outposts of that warm and inviting brotherhood. Maud Newton has been running short features from her readers on bookstores across America and the world that they are particularly fond…...

Burning Down Madurai

In honour of a trip to Chennai tomorrow, here's a post dedicated to a gem of Tamil literature that I recently revisited after many years. R. Parthasarathy's translation of Ilango Adigal's Tamil-language epic, the Silapadikaram, or the Epic of the Anklet is a fantastic read, not least of all for the hallowed…...

Googlies in Dublin and Madrid

The Guardian has a story on Ian Gibson's Viento del Sur (Wind of the South), which was recently published in Spain and is rapidly selling out its printrun. The twist in this otherwise ordinary publishing success story is that though Gibson has been a Spanish national for over 20 years, he was born and…...

Writing 60 Years Later

It's the eve of Indian Independence Day, and a round-up of some of the current writing on the occasion of the nation's 60th year of independence seems to be in order: Pankaj Mishra speaks about the legacy of Indian nationalism in his New Yorker review of Alex von Tunzelbeck's Indian Summer and the growing…...

A Rather Strange Career Change

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…...

Another Word for Murder

It's hot. It's humid. We're sticky. It's Friday and already this week we've watched the New York City Transit system crumble in the wake of a tornado in Brooklyn(?!) It's definitely August--and time to get away. But what to read? Springfield Massachusetts, it turns out, has the answer. Courtesy of an…...

Bud Parr on Witold Gombrowicz

Bud Parr, over at Chekhov's Mistress has a brief review of Witold Gombrowicz's short story collection Bacacay (Archipelago Books) that's a great preview of the quirky, beautiful style of this underread master of 20th-Century fiction. Parr's favorite story, Adventures, was also one that we loved. For…...

Jack Kerouac Sur la Route

It seems like everyone is celebrating the 50th anniversary of On the Road by recreating Jack Kerouac's trip across America, but Pierre-Olivier Labbe's blog at Le Monde Online is a wonderful reminder of the original spirit of Kerouac's journey. As Labbe describes it, Ce reportage photographique propose…...

New Fiction from Daniil Kharms

Look out for never-before-translated short fiction by Russian absurdist and Words without Borders author Daniil Kharms in this week's issue of the New Yorker. Kharms' work, suppressed by the Soviet government during his lifetime and still underrepresented in translation, is a must-read for his inventiveness…...

George Tabori

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…...

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