Archives

February, 2008

Rotten English

Amitava Kumar and Michael Ryan edit the Rotten English issue of Politics and Culture. The issue takes its cue from Dohra Ahmad's book Rotten English: A Literary Anthology. The title of the book comes from Ken Saro-Wiwa's Sozaboy: A Novel in Rotten English. What are Saro-Wiwa and Ahmad getting at? Mandakini…...

Hosam Aboul-Ela in Cairo

Hosam Aboul-Ela teaches in the department of English and the program in World Cultures and Literatures at the University of Houston. He has lived most of his life in two exotic foreign countries—Egypt and Texas. He is the English translator of the novels Voices by Soleiman Fayyad and Distant Train…...

HERBERT: POET OF DESPONDENT HOPE

Raport z oblężonego miasta Report from a Besieged City by Cynthia Haven In the final installment in our discussion on Zbigniew Herbert's Collected Poems Cynthia Haven leads us through Herbert's Report from a Besieged City. We're deeply grateful for both Cynthia's and James's wonderful…...

The A to Z of Literary Translation: D to F

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…...

Forward Interview with Alexandr Skidan

Reading what passes for the interview nowadays, one often wonders if the author has died—and been replaced by their publicist. So when we run across a genuinely-engaged literary conversation in the mainstream press, one almost wants to shout from the rooftops. Here is one such conversation between…...

Thoughts on Lavigny

Alix Ohlin is the author of The Missing Person, a novel, and Babylon and Other Stories. She lives in Easton, Pennsylvania. In her first post for WWB, she talks about her experience at the Château de Lavigny in Switzerland, the writers' residency established by Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt. Alix…...

Literary Malaise

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…...

Lawrence Venuti Tells us Some More About the Business of Translation

Earlier this month, Words Without Borders featured a piece by Lawrence Venuti on the business side of publishing books in translation. Venuti's article was written for the Frankfurt Book Fair Panel on To Be Translated or Not to Be, the report by Esther Allen, the Ramon Llull Institute and various PEN…...

Street Signs: Karachi Graffiti

The streets of Karachi are alive. Each day, as we drive out, there is something new to see, to read: all the walls around the city are plastered with political slogans, candidate endorsements and poetry in calligraphic-style Urdu and roughly-written English. When growing up, I never paid much attention…...

The A to Z of Literary Translation

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…...

“I will oppress you with my strange love”:  Andrzej Franaszek discusses the friendship of Zbigniew H

Andrzej Franaszek is a literary critic and cultural editor of the Polish weekly Tygodnik Powszechny. He is the author of Ciemne źródło (Dark Spring), which discusses the subject of suffering in the poetry of Zbigniew Herbert (the second edition will be published later in 2008). He is also…...

Reading Rutka Laskier

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…...

Inside the Echo Chamber: A Conversation with Alissa Valles

Alissa Valles was born in Amsterdam to an American father and a Dutch mother. She grew up in the USA and the Netherlands and studied Slavic languages, literature and history at the School of Slavonic & East European Studies in London and later at universities in Poland, Russia and the United States.…...

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