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June, 2008

Culinary Wonders of İstanbul

Cenk Sönmezsoy is a 31-year-old food writer, photographer, baker and chocoholic from İstanbul, Turkey. He shares his kitchen adventures, recipes and photographs at his food blog cafefernando.com. Distinguished as Turkey's "Best Blog" in 2008, Cafe Fernando has been featured in magazines, newspapers…...

“The Assistant” Book Club

We're delighted to officially kick off our 2008 book club series with a month-long discussion of Robert Walser's The Assistant. The Assistant is the first of WWB's seven picks from this year's Reading the World program. Sam Jones will be moderating this month's book club, and he will be joined by Susan…...

The Background Noise in Iraq

Last week I was embedded with the 25th infantry division north of Baghdad in the so-called Sunni Triangle. Presently I'm in the Green Zone. A friend of mine in New York asked me to pay attention to the noise here. He had been informed that on most military bases in Iraq, one could hear a permanent noise…...

May, 2008

“The Assistant” Book Club Discussion

Post your thoughts on Walser or The Assistant below. Comments are moderated, and will appear after a very short delay, so avoid posting twice if you notice that your post doesn't appear immediately. Have a thought but need a prompt to put it into words? Take a look at our discussion questions: —Some…...

Global Gourmet Blogs!

All this month, to celebrate our Global Gourmet issue, the blogs at WWB will feature guest essays by food writers and bloggers from around the world on an aspect of the food culture of their stomping grounds that stands out for them. A brief sampling of the courses to come: Niloufer Ichaporia King walks…...

Waiting it Out in Kuala Lumpur

Robyn Eckhardt is a writer based in Kuala Lumpur. She publishes the food blog EatingAsia with her husband, photographer David Hagerman. In this post she walks us through the slow and delicious process of immersing herself into the landscape of a local Kuala Lumpur kitchen—Editors I'm a tall Caucasian…...

Dutch Translation Workshops in Italy

For the last 10 days I have been touring through Italy giving workshops at universities where Dutch is being taught. I was surprised to hear that there are five Italian cities where you can study Dutch: Naples, Rome, Bologna, Padua and Trieste. I have been to all of these cities the last 10 days, with…...

Thinkers

In conjunction with the London Book Fair's acknowledgement of the 'Arabic Book' this year (previously mentioned in this blog), the Guardian published a forum in which it asked Arab writers and other experts on Arabic literature to list books they'd like to see translated. Among the several…...

Pen World Voices 2008: Writing Sexuality

I've just returned from New York where I attended the panel discussion 'Writing Sex and Sexuality', one of the many and varied events hosted by PEN as part of their festival of international literature. I was particularly interested in this event since my novel The Mushroom Man included some sexually…...

The A to Z of Literary Translation: W, X, Y & Z

Worldwide web development and the long-tail phenomenon offer new opportunities for the visibility of literary translation. Electronic translation software is to be avoided. Postcolonial and new immigrant writing benefit from cross-frontier digital exchange. And lesser known cultures and languages can…...

April, 2008

Pints with Roddy Doyle

The first time that I drank Guinness was also the first time that I met Roddy Doyle. It was the winter of 1997. My Dutch publisher and I had decided to meet in Dublin, which is halfway between New York and Amsterdam more or less. Since Roddy Doyle was published by the same house in the Netherlands that…...

London Calling

The wilderness years are over for Arabic writers in translation it seems, as they were in the spotlight this week in London's Earls Court. Arabia Books was launched in the run up to the London Book Fair—the agenda being to publish the best contemporary fiction from the Arabic World. The venture…...

The A to Z of Literary Translation: S to V

Schools of thought about the rights and wrongs of translation are summarized by Susan Sontag as follows: íI suppose that the two opposed schools of translators are those who feel, like Nabokov, that a good translation has to be a literal transcription of the original, no matter how flat or awkward,…...

Graphic Censorship

Troubling news from Cairo, where Magdy El Shafee's new graphic novel, The Metro, has been seized by police on the ground of "disturbing public morals." Magdy reports that police raided the offices of the Malameh publishing house, confiscated all copies of the book, and forbade the publisher to print…...

Troubles

Egypt has been through a troubling few weeks, culminating in several tense days around a general strike last Sunday April 6. During this time, talk of politics and economics has pushed aside talk of literature and culture. The general atmosphere has me thinking about the nonliterary challenges facing…...

Translation and Censorship

Fayre Makeig is a poet and translator living in Brooklyn, NY. Past homes include Washington, DC, Arizona, and Maharashtra, India. She holds a BA in English from Yale, and is working toward an MFA in creative writing at Columbia. Several of her poems are forthcoming in the Western Humanities Review. —Editors…...

The A to Z of Literary Translation: P to R

Publishers in the independent sector are fundamental to ensure variety in the marketplace; they are surviving despite stiff competition and the discount war, (ref. Society of Authors, The Future of Independent Publishing). Tired preconceptions continue to hamper the progress of translations in the UK…...

Translation and Publishing Roundtable: Translated Literature, a Cottage Industry?

For the publishing panelists of this roundtable, the value of a translator was invariably in his/her command of the English language and not necessarily just their fluency in the language they were translating from. On top of which, a good translator "captured the original voice," which again, is different…...

Bolaño and the Infrarealists

As many of us are buzzing over the recent New Directions release of Nazi Literature in the Americas, FSG's paperback edition of The Savage Detectives is also in stores, dropping almost simultaneously as if a new Bolaño translation wasn't quite enough. The paperback Savage Detectives is worth a look…...

Preparations for a Close Escape

In preparation for my trip to Iraq in May, I have now met with two war correspondents. One of them is an American. We met in a bar in Brooklyn. The other is a Dutch war correspondent with whom I had dinner in Amsterdam. The American correspondent was a man who is more or less my age. As is often the…...

Why Do We Hate Us?

The first thing that must be said about visiting the United Arab Emirates is that the traveler does not get a full picture due to the invisibility of migrant workers hidden away in work camps outside the glitz and glamour of cosmopolitan Dubai. I first visited Dubai in the spring of 1984 and came away…...

Translation and Publishing Rountable: How To Get A Contract

The "Translation and Publishing" roundtable q&a was predominated by questions from translators on how to get contracts. Having once been the marketing director for a translation publishing house myself (Vertical, Inc. specializing in Japanese fiction), I could offer a few pieces of advice, but probably…...

The Curious Absence of Asia…

Anne Ishii is a writer, consultant and blogger (http://ill-iterate-anne.blogspot.com) specializing in pop culture and publishing. She has written for The Village Voice, BUST, Giant Robot and various other print and online outfits, on top of translating for outlets such as WNET/Thirteen and Pantheon.…...

Columbia Graduate Student Translation Conference

Sunday marked the end of Columbia's three-day Graduate Student Translation Conference. Panel discussions revolved around various aspects of the work, business and craft of translation. Chad Post recaps the conference highjinks over at Three Percent. We're also lucky to have more on-the-ground reportage…...

March, 2008

The A to Z of Literary Translation: M to O

Market share of world literature is dominated by U.S. publishing conglomerates and literary agents who, together with their British counterparts, are increasingly promoting celebrities rather than professional writers in order to maximize revenue and profits. Thanks to the former British empire and today's…...

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