Archives

February, 2011

From the Translator: Agnes Scott Langeland on Kjell Askildsen’s “Dogs of Thessaloniki”

My first encounter with Kjell Askildsen’s marvelous short stories was in 1995, in an anthology called Et stort øde landskap (A Wide Empty Landscape), published by Oktober in 1991.  Their effect on me was searing. The simple, low-key language had unexpected force, making it almost painful…...

The City and the Writer Introduces Specials

The idea of adding a Specials component to The City and the Writer came while I was in Berlin this past winter 2010. Some cities seduce and intrigue so profoundly that you can’t refrain from wanting more. To touch its mysteries, get lost in its stories, architecture, and forgotten corners. I wanted…...

The City and the Writer: In the Bronx with Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

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Part of the Special City Series / New York City 2011 If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains. —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities 1.  Can you describe the…...

Questions for Peter Bush and Teresa Solana

Peter Bush has been translating the fiction of Teresa Solana since 2005, producing sparkling English versions of many of her stories and two of her comic noirs, A Shortcut to Paradise and A Not So Perfect Crime.  Here the couple, both former directors of national translation centers, talk about…...

A Interview with Kim Thompson of Fantagraphics Books

Mass media may often associate comics with blockbuster-movie superheroes and kids’ cartoons, but as evidenced by the diverse works from comics and graphic novel publisher Fantagraphics Books, this visual medium wields the power to make hard-hitting political and social commentary or explore the…...

Chihoi in Action

Kaleidoscope, a marvelous, eye-widening exhibition on the history of Hong Kong comics, is a ten-minute walk down to the river from the center of town. The exhibit is composed of individual units that are practical, durable, and ingeniously designed, like high-end luggage: black, on casters, all the edges…...

Meeting of the Pharaohs by the Red Sea

Algerian Kamel Daoud is editor in chief of the French language daily newspaper Quotidien d'Oran, where he writes a daily column, or chronique, under the title "Raina Raikoum" [Our Opinion Is Your Opinion].  In a country under state of emergency/political lockdown since 1992, and where TV and…...

Borges: Faith to See in the Dark

In 2010, as part of the Penguin Classics Series, five new Borges books were released in the states. Last October, three of the editors, Suzanne Jill Levine, Alfred Mac Adam, and Maria Kodama, gathered at the Americas Society in New York City to discuss the project. The books highlight specific aspects…...

Africans in Paris: On “Malamine”

“I’ve never seen an African in a bookstore in France,” said Christophe Ngalle Edimo. “I say African, because whatever country in Africa you’re actually from, the minute you set foot in France, you’re an African. That’s how they see you—not who you are,…...

A Congolese creation myth

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In The Fire of Origins, translated from the French by Lillian Corti and published in 2001, the Congolese writer Emmanuel Dongala has produced not so much a novel as a national creation myth. His hero, Mandala Mankunku (who has several other names in the course of the story) is an outsize figure whose…...

film icon Censorship in Egypt: An Interview with Magdy El Shafee

In February 2008, WWB published an extract from the first Egyptian graphic novel for adults, Magdy El Shafee's Metro. Set in a chaotic modern Cairo pulsing with economic and social instability, the novel protrays the city as a vortex of political corruption. When the book was published in Egypt two…...

Imagining more Autumns for North Africa’s Patriarchs: The Dictator Novel in Egypt

In the mid 1970s, at a time when Latin American countries chafed under brutal dictatorships, an amazing literary phenomenon swept through the region. Three powerful novels were published within months of each other by three of the greatest authors of the region hailing from its varied corners. Inspired…...

Artists Talk: Israel/Palestine. An Interview with Almog Behar

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Translated from the Hebrew by Chana Morgenstern In this installment of "Artists Talk: Israel/Palestine,"  Chana Morgenstern. speaks to Almog Behar, whose poem, Sheikh Jarrah, 2010" you can read over here. Chana Morgenstern: Can you tell me a little bit about how your experiences organizing with…...

Artists Talk: Israel/Palestine. “Sheikh Jarrah, 2010.” A Poem by Almog Behar

Translated from the Hebrew by Chana Morgenstern. Almog Behar Is a Mizrahi (Jew of Arab descent) writer, literary critic and activist involved in the solidarity movement against the eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem.   Behar is also actively engaged in a small but vibrant…...

From the Translator: Andrea G. Labinger on Guillermo Martínez’s “Dance at the Marcone”

The prolific and talented Guillermo Martínez is well-known beyond the borders of his native Argentina.  Indeed, Martínez is one of the most-translated of contemporary Argentine writers. His 2003 mystery novel, Crímenes imperceptibles (translated into English by Sonia Soto as…...

An Algerian Lexicon

On February 3, smelling the smoke from Cairo, Algeria's aging President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, emerged from a long silence and promised an end to the state of emergency that has kept the country in political lockdown since 1992. The coalition of protest groups planning a nationwide "peaceful march…...

Voices, Voices Everywhere: Democracy in Tunisia

“A young man has set himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid,” B. told me one morning over coffee last December.  He could not find a job and the police would not even let him be a fruit vendor. We still did not know his name.  B. then spoke of the brutal repression against shocked demonstrators…...

The City and the Writer: In Washington, D.C. with E. Ethelbert Miller

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If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.                              …...

From the Translator: Jonathan Blitzer on “Ride of the Valkyries”

In his post, "Our Man in Madrid" series editor Jonathan Blitzer speaks about Wagnerian imprecations and military coups in Juan Carlos Chirinos's "Ride of the Valkyries." Juan Carlos Chirinos dedicated “Ride of the Valkyries,” to his friend, the Venezuelan photographer and portraitist …...

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