Archives

September, 2012

Michael Henry Heim, 1943–2012

The incomparable Michael Henry Heim died September 29. Translator of scores of books from a dozen languages and professor of Slavic at UCLA for forty years, he did perhaps more than anyone to advance translation in the US. Michael shaped both theory and practice across the field, introducing English-language…...

The Translator Relay: Erica Mena

Our "Translator Relay" series features a new interview each month. This month's translator will choose the next interviewee, adding a different, sixth question. First up: poet, editor, and Spanish translator Erica Mena, whose translations from Héctor Germán Oesterheld's science…...

Google, Chess, and the Art of Letting Go

I don’t play chess. I can name the pieces, I can just about remember how they move, but that’s about it. And yet here I am translating Shota Iatashvili’s My Story of Chess. Does it matter?  Not knowing much about chess certainly doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the story; like…...

Translation Roundup

READ Interviews, Articles, Reviews An old Ethiopian farmer's story about an ant inspired a lifetime of collecting and translating children's books for New Zealand-born writer Elizabeth Laird. In a recent interview on World Literature Today, she talks about Ethiopia's linguistic complexities,…...

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: Round Two

Resuming our earier conversation, the speculation continues. Britain's suspiciously accurate Ladbrokes (remember, last year they had Tomas Transtromer in the top five) bets on Haruki Murakami at 5:1, followed by Bob Dylan (per an earlier commenter: oh, honestly) at 10:1, Mo Yan and Cees Nooteboom…...

The Week in Translation

GO what: Pole Position: Polish Book Autumnfest 17 events in 2 months, at 15 venues across 10 different cities, featuring 7 key Central European writers when: events run from September 19-November 7 where: various locations more info: http://ow.ly/dVGb8

Translation Roundup

READ Awards and Honors The Man Booker shortlist was recently announced. The top six books were written by British, Indian, and Malaysian writers. The 2012 prize winner will be revealed on October 16. Congratulations to the 2012 winners of the PEN Literary Awards, including translators and WWB contributors Bill…...

The Week in Translation

GO what: SYMBIOSIS: AN EVENING OF ASIAN AND ASIAN AMERICAN POETRY with Monica Ferrell, Kimiko Hahn, Timothy Liu, and Angela Veronica Wong when: Thursday, September 20, 7:00pm where: Museum of Chinese in America/215 Centre Street, New York, NY more info: http://ow.ly/dLLtq what: BROOKLYN…...

Translating Jami: The Impossible Task

I came across the fifteenth century Persian mystic poet, Jami, almost by accident.  A composer friend wrote a piece for piano and soprano based on Jami’s book-length allegorical poem, Salaman and Absal.  He asked me to read the sections of the poem he had not set to song, so that the…...

Translation Roundup

READ Awards and Honors Congratulations to Dubravka Ugresic, whose novel Karaoke Culture ( reviewed here by WWB) recently won the Jean Améry Award for Essay Writing! Interviews, Articles, Reviews On English PEN's Atlas, novelist Krys Lee confronts an audience member's question…...

Remembering the Departed Spirits: Liu Xiaobo’s “June Fourth Elegies”

“Let the darkness transform into rock across the wilderness of my memory.” — From “Fifteen Years of Darkness,” June Fourth Elegies Every year since the Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4, 1989, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has written poetic elegies commemorating…...

Fun in German, or How Much Glue Is In This Glühwein?

I am extremely fortunate to count Dagmara Kraus, the poet whose work I translate, as a friend. Dagmara was born in Poland, lives in Germany, and speaks four languages fluently (English among them). We communicate regularly by email and Skype, discussing work, publication, penury, and other writerly matters…...

The Week in Translation

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The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as laureates Herta Müller, J. M. G. Le Clézio,…...

A Review of Edouard Levé‘s “Autoportrait”

Image of A Review of Edouard Levé‘s “Autoportrait”
Self-portraiture occupied the French photographer and novelist Edouard Levé throughout his career, but his third novel, Autoportrait, remains his most thorough and sustained attempt in that direction. Levé was the author of only four works of fiction – Oeuvres (2002), Journal (2004),…...

The Week in Translation

GO what: Singapore International Storytelling Festival when: September 1-5 where: Singapore more info: http://ow.ly/dqtyp what: Second International Congress of Translators, a gathering of translators of Russian literature from more than 30 countries when: September 7-8 where: Moscow more info: http://ow.ly/dqtr8...

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