Archives

June, 2010

From the Translator: Ross Benjamin on Translating Gunther Geltinger’s “Man Angel”

Translating an excerpt from Gunther Geltinger’s Mensch Engel for the June 2010 issue of Words Without Borders was a singular challenge. Geltinger stretches the limits of German syntax so as to capture the rhythm of the protagonist’s thoughts, memories and perceptions as they whir along and…...

The Year of the Death of José Saramago

“We mourn the man whom death takes from us, and the loss of his miraculous talent and the grace of his human presence, but only the man do we mourn, for destiny endowed his spirit and creative powers with a mysterious beauty that cannot perish.” —from The Year of the Death of Ricardo…...

Pride in Padua

Before you head out to your local pride parade, stop by Padua's, courtesy of Matteo Bianchi's "Maternal Pride." Bianchi's droll panorama captures both the teeming crowd and the individual stories within. Kylie Minogue fanatic Marco, still dizzy from having shared his water bottle with his…...

A Cyprus Dispatch

The capital city of Cyprus, Nicosia, is encircled by stone walls shaped like a star with eleven heart-shaped bastions that once served as military fortification for the Venetians who were one in the long line of occupiers on the island. The old city is also bisected by the infamous “green line”…...

On Turning a Peter Handke Novel into Music, or Not

When I was first asked to answer the question, “have you been influenced by Peter Handke?” my inclination was simply to say “no.”  I had simply held his title On a Dark Night I Left My Silent House in mind for about ten years.  I had told myself: one day I will change…...

From the Archives: Putting the “T” in GLBT

First published in our December 2007 Departures issue, Gaute Heivoll's  "Dr. Gordeau" follows a Norwegian man on an ominous trip to an unnamed country in search of a sex change. Seeking the elusive surgeon of the title, Anders moves numbly between the sinister clinic, the roiling market, and…...

A Border Passage by Leila Ahmed

Image of A Border Passage by Leila Ahmed
I nearly gave up on Leila Ahmed’s memoir A Border Passage. After a lovely, quiet opening that describes the wind in the trees at the house on the edge of Cairo where the author grew up, the narrative shifted gears into several pages of rather dry political history. This is going to be too academic,…...

From the Translator: Lauren Dubowski on Translating Ewa Schilling’s “The Fool”

I found The Fool on a cluttered table in Korporacja Ha!art's bookstore in Kraków, a cozy, smart, artfully cluttered space above a contemporary art gallery, Bunkier Sztuki. Among its idiosyncratic books, magazines, and journals, some are especially . . . unconventional for Polish bookstores…...

“The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris” by Leïla Marouane

Image of “The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris” by Leïla Marouane
As first lines go, that of Leïla Marouane’s second novel and debut in English, The Abductor (2000, translated by Felicity McNab), is a masterpiece of concision and intrigue: “My father lay helpless on the sofa while my mother was being joined to Youssef Allouchi in lawful wedlock.”…...

film iconA Conversation with Alex Epstein, author of “Blue has no South”

Last week, Rohan and I sat down with Alex Epstein who was in New York City visiting from Tel Aviv. We had a very nice discussion on his book, Blue has no South, on mythology, angels, Jorge Luis Borges and lots of other authors and influences, short-form literature and poetry. This video captures…...

From The Translator: Adam Rovner on Bar-Yosef’s Tale of Forbidden Desire

Adam Rovner talks about translating Yehoshuah Bar-Yosef's Soul Mate, an excerpt from which was published in this month's issue of WWB. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Israeli playwright Yosef Bar-Yosef, who knew that I served as the Hebrew translations editor for Zeek. Yosef recommended…...

Roberto Bolaño’s Total Anarchy

The Bolaño short fiction that’s been coming out in the New Yorker and Harper’s over the past few months is getting stranger. Necrophilia and the Colombian porno industry are edgy enough subjects, but Bolaño went further by exploring elements of the fantastic. The stories have…...

PEN Translation Awards Announced

PEN has just announced the winners of the 2010 translation awards, and we're delighted to see three of our translators on the list. Congratulations to Peter Golub, awarded for his translations of the Russian flash-fiction writer Linor Goralnik; Chip Rossetti, recognized for his translation of a collection…...

Andrei Voznesensky, 1933–2010

The Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky has died at seventy-seven. Here are the first and last stanzas from his “Darkmotherscream,” translated by Robert Bly and Vera Dunham, in The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry:   Darkmotherscream is a Siberian dance, cry from prison or a yell for…...

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