Archives

January, 2014

True Stories from Faraway Places: Paweł Smoleński and Polish Literary Reportage

Paweł Smoleński’s “Painting the Occupation” is a great example of what I love about Polish literary reportage. Through the story of Suleiman Shakir, a famous Kurdish painter who was persecuted under Saddam Hussein, Smoleński addresses themes of freedom of expression,…...

The City and the Writer: In Guatemala City with David Unger

Image of The City and the Writer: In Guatemala City with David Unger
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 Can you describe the mood of Guatemala City as you feel/see it? The mood depends…...

Translator Relay: Danuta Borchardt

What is your connection to the language(s) you translate from and/or the place(s) where the books you translate are written? I translate from the Polish, which is my native tongue. The books were written in Poland and Argentina. Can you give us an example of an “untranslateable” word or phrase,…...

Asymptote’s Third Anniversary: The State of Translation

Image of Asymptote’s Third Anniversary: The State of Translation
Despite the onset of winter storm Janus, the Housing Works Bookstore Café was packed on January 21 for Asymptote’s third anniversary event, “The State of Translation.” Asymptote is an exciting international journal dedicated to literary translation, published quarterly and available…...

The Week in Translation

what: The Bridge Series: Cole Swensen and Kit Schulter where: McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street when: Sunday, February 9, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/sZzyi what: Festival Neue Literatur: Festival Neue Literatur (FNL) was established as a collaborative project of New York’s leading German-language…...

Oulipian Champagne: Mucking with Caradec’s Deft Trickery

I remember watching Yvonne Rainer’s Journeys from Berlin/1971 in film class, and I recall the feeling of sitting in that dark Simon Fraser annex classroom searching for patterns that eluded me. Hmm, in the past three shots, the traffic has been moving to the left. Maybe THAT means something. Never…...

Opening New Doors on to New Worlds: Sport and Translation

Stories about feats of endurance and courage against the odds have been told since 776 BC when the ancient Olympic Games began. We all need myths and heroes: self-actualization lies at the core of their journey. Usain Bolt, Rebecca Adlington, Chris Hoy, Carl Hester, Mo Farah . . . Thanks to the star…...

The Week in Translation

what: Asymptote's 3rd Anniversary Celebration: The State of Translation, featuring Eliot Weinberger, Robyn Creswell, Idra Novey, Daniella Gitlin and Jeffrey Yang. where: Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012 when: Tuesday, January 21, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/sxAqT ...

Exploiting the Translator’s Mind Palace: Contemporary German Fiction 101

As a single parent of a teenager, I am constantly on the lookout for ways to earn extra money without doing less literary translation work, which I love and which provides about half of my income. I am also convinced that we translators are experts in our respective fields, getting closer to the literature…...

Reflections: Juan Gelman

Yesterday, just before the first full moon of the year, Argentine poet-in-exile Juan Gelman died; and last night, my head was full of extraordinary images of Juan. First, I remembered 1975, when Eduardo Galeano gave me a copy of Juan’s Obra poética “to see how it would work in English.”…...

Preface to Life

To Mohsen Emadi There are voices that stop us that open the ground and fold our hearts into tiny squares You tell me, Juan left us— I need your embrace I tell you, Amiri left us— who’s the world now? Our grief hanging on a telephone line Mexico City—Vermont our eyes fill with…...

The Week in Translation

what: Asymptote's 3rd Anniversary Celebration: The State of Translation, featuring Eliot Weinberger, Robyn Creswell, Idra Novey, Daniella Gitlin and Jeffrey Yang. where: Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012 when: Tuesday, January 21, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/sxAqT

Writers against Mass Surveillance: An International Grassroots Protest

One month ago today, the anti-surveillance appeal “A Stand for Democracy in the Digital Age” was launched; it has since has been signed by more than 195,000 people on Change.org. Initiated by a small group of European writers and one American translator, it began with a manifesto signed by…...

My Favorite Bookstore: Nicky Harman on Arthur Probsthain Oriental and African Bookseller

Image of My Favorite Bookstore: Nicky Harman on Arthur Probsthain Oriental and African Bookseller
Arthur Probsthain Oriental and African Bookseller, 41 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3PE In the narrow streets opposite the imposing edifice of the British Museum in Bloomsbury, London, there are a host of nooky little shops selling everything from replica antiques to T-shirts to books. But Probsthain’s…...

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