Archives

January, 2008

“The Truth of Human Suffering”: Anna Frajlich on “Apollo and Marsyas”

by Anna Frajlich Anna Frajlich talks about aesthetics and ethics in Herbert's "Apollo and Marsyas." Anna Frajlich has been called "the best Polish poetess of her generation." The émigré poet, scholar, and educator teaches at Columbia University.—Editors Herbert's poetry takes us into…...

Found in Translation (Now With Cash Prize)

Happily on theme for this month's focus on Polish literature, the Polish Book Institute, Polish Cultural Institute in London, Polish Cultural Institute in New York and W.A.B. Publishing House in Warsaw have announced the FOUND IN TRANSLATION Award. The award is given annually to a translator (or translators)…...

2008 Saif-Ghobash Banipal Prize Call for Entries (UK)

A call for entries for the 2008 Saif-Ghobash Banipal Prize from our friends at Banipal. Note that the deadline is 31 January! (And that this is for books published in the UK.) The end of this month, 31 January, sees the deadline for entries to the 2008 Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation…...

Expanses of the Unspoken: An Interview with Peter Dale Scott

by Peter Dale Scott Cynthia Haven interviews Peter Dale Scott, one of the earliest translators of the work of Zbigniew Herbert. You can find James Marcus's introduction to the poet over here.—Editors Peter Dale Scott has worn many hats: he is a poet, former diplomat, professor emeritus of English…...

January Book Club— the “Collected Poems” of Zbigniew Herbert

We're delighted to launch the year in book clubs with a fantastic new club on the Collected Poems of the Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert. Conducting interviews, holding forth on individual poems and encouraging discussion this month are James Marcus and Cynthia Haven. James Marcus is an author and translator…...

Final Thoughts on Laye

In the final installment of our book club discussion of Camara Laye's The Radiance of the King, Laila Lalami discusses the ways in which Laye's book went against the literary conventions of writing about "the dark continent."—Editors As I mentioned in an earlier post, the NYRB edition of Camara…...

December, 2007

Shadows & Questions

From Diary of A Bad Year: "I read again last night the fifth chapter of the second part of The Brothers Karamazov, the chapter in which Ivan hands back his ticket of admission to the universe God has created, and found myself sobbing uncontrollaby." Here at WWB we're working on our end of the year paperwork…...

Sandy Taylor (1931-2007)

Alexander (Sandy) Taylor was a brilliant publisher of literature in translation whose Curbstone Press, co-founded with his wife, Judith Doyle, is an inspiration to us all. For those who didn't know him, this interview on his life and work published last summer in New Pages, offers a glimpse of his creativity,…...

Chtenia, Nomer 1

The editors of Russian Life magazine announce the first ever issue of their companion publication, Chtenia. From the Russian word for "readings," Chtenia's aims are the logical extension of Russian Life's— more fiction, non-fiction and photography, now in a convenient paperback format. Each issue…...

Getting on the Back Flap

Last weekend I received an early Xmas gift in the form of Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's new translation of War and Peace. Most striking to note is that Knopf decided to put a picture of the translating husband and wife on the back flap of the dust jacket, right in the space traditionally reserved…...

A Case of Serendipity?

In one week, I bumped into a writer I had the pleasure of publishing in 1994, and his first translator in English, neither of whom I had seen for over ten years. Daniel Pennac (winner of this year's Prix Renaudot for Chagrin d'école) and the first Children's Laureate, Quentin Blake, were in conversation…...

A Green Interloper in the Court of Arthur

For those of you who love a good tale of knights errant who chop the heads off of mysterious green strangers, take a look at the review of Simon Armitage's new translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, reviewed by Ed Hirsch in the NYT Book Review. Though scholars know that the author of the book…...

Kafka and Laye—Literary Influences in “The Radiance of the King”

In this installment of our discussion of The Radiance of the King, Laila talks about the influences at play in Laye's work, the contentious issue of the book's authorship and the ways in which Laye is most like—and unlike—the author he quotes in the epigraph to his book.—Editors Let…...

Guernica Magazine

In more late-in-the day news, Guernica magazine's fantastic new issue is up, with Francisco Goldman acting as guest fiction editor. Kim Hyeeson advocates for the beleaguered Buddha in Why Can't We and David Unger writes about being out on the town with Gabriel García Márquez in Ghostwriting…...

Maxim Biller

A few weeks ago, I moderated an evening with Maxim Biller at the Goethe Institute in New York. Maxim Biller is a German author, although he was born in Prague and only moved to Germany when he was ten years old. He is definitely German. The Israeli newspaper H'aaretz published a profile on Biller earlier…...

Traveler IQ

Fancy yourself a seasoned explorer? Think you've been there, done that, and could find it on a map? Test your Traveler-IQ over at Travelpod.com. You're being timed, so warm up your clicking finger and dust off your knowledge of world capitals and famous palaces. Our suggestion for travelpod? Find the…...

Landing on an Unknown Coast—the Story of “The Radiance of the King”

In the second post in our December book club on The Radiance of the King, Laila Lalami talks about the story of The Radiance of the King and the unique ways in which it addresses the protagonist's complicated personal journey. Also see Laila's introductory post—Editors. I want to start our discussion…...

Indigenous African Languages

Tolu Ogunlesi talks about indigenous African languages over at the Sun News online. The piece looks at the contentious topic of how African a work of literature can claim to be when it is written in the language of its former colonizers. It also addresses the problems that come into play when discussing…...

Dispatches from the Urals

Chad Post comments on the variety and freshness that Russian authors from the Urals bring to the literary scene, over at Three Percent: The distancing of the Russian provinces from Moscow has thus far brought little change to the intellectual provincialism of the regions. Only the rocky Urals have turned…...

Miami Part Three—Final Translation Market Fun

Snow flurries have finally graced the gray skies of New York City, the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center has been lit, and thick woolen bodywrappings are now de rigeur at Greenmarket--winter has settled in at last. So a final farewell to the warmth of Miami, and our last set of recommendations from…...

Permission to Speak Aphoristically?

Here's a quirky—and handy—piece on the compelling history of aphorism-writing in Serbia. The theory goes that the zingers in questions—laced with dark humour—thrive in times of inclement political weather. Aleksandar Cotric, dissident, author of a book of aphorisms and member…...

The Year in Translation

The end of the year is upon us, and with it the end of year lists of the best of everything. What new translations did you read this year, and what did you like? Loathe? Long for? Cast your vote now.

December Book Club—Laila Lalami on Camara Laye’s The Radiance of the King

This month, Laila Lalami heads our book club discussion of Camara Laye's The Radiance of the King. Laila is the author of the 2005 collection of fiction Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits and you can find more of her writing at her blog. We're thrilled to have Laila hosting discussion this month and hope…...

Cogwheels

As we come to the end of our book club on Ryunosuke Akutagawa's short story collection Mandarins, Michael tackles Cogwheels, another posthumously published story by the author. We'd like to thank Michael Orthofer again, for a great month of reading Akutagawa and a fantastic journey through the life and…...

November, 2007

The Life of a Fool

As we near the home stretch of our discussion of Ryunosuke Akutagawa's Mandarins, Michael Orthofer offers up some ruminations on The Life of a Fool, Akutagawa's posthumously-published collection of very short pieces. Earlier posts can be found here: a look at the titular story, Mandarins; the approach…...

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