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June, 2008

The Future of Literature

Two days after I left Iraq, I traveled to a small resort at the Black Sea for a writer's conference about the future of literature. For some reason it seemed to me the right sequence: first Baghdad and then a conference about the future of literature. I have been to a few literary festivals, but this…...

Roti Prata

Aun Koh is one of the co-founders of The Miele Guide, the first independent guide to Asia's top restaurants. Koh has worked for the International Herald Tribune and Newsweek, and has also launched several publications, including EAST magazine, an Asian regional lifestyle publication. Between 2004 and…...

Cambodia Wants to Eat

Rice says everything in Cambodia. Having it foretells survival and hope; lacking it portends defeat. Last year, a pound of rice cost about 15 cents in the market. Today, it's six cents more. Pennies of difference—but pennies that make a world of difference to families living on a dollar a day or…...

The Translators’ Roundtable Forum

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. In the Translators' Roundtable, Damion Searls, Tom Whalen, Millay Hyatt and Mark Harman spoke about discovering…...

A Culinary Trip Into the Past

Carolyn Jung is an award-winning food and wine writer. She is the recipient of a James Beard award for feature writing about restaurants/chefs, a Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism award of excellence for diversity writing, an award from the American Association of Sunday and Features…...

The Changing Times of the Egyptian Novel

One of my main activities since arriving in Cairo has been to try to update myself on recent developments in the Egyptian novel. I have just finished a work that's received much attention in the local cultural pages since I arrived. It's entitled A Matter of Time and it opens with the idle chatter…...

Dinner’s at Midnight in Buenos Aires

A city girl at heart, Caroline Shin left New York City, the glam apple of her eye, for Buenos Aires, the party haunt of South America. Eight months later, she's still indulging in the porteño night life that ignores the onset of daylight, and a cuisine that is known for the prime succulence of its…...

A Dangerous Occupation

Issue #2 of Triple Canopy has the first ever translation of the "Caracas Speech" that Roberto Bolaño gave when he was awarded the Rómulo Gallegos prize for his novel "The Savage Detectives." It's a wonderfully digressive piece that starts with Bolaño's reminiscences on the battle between…...

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…...

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