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September, 2007

“The Engagement” as Genre-Bender? Chad Responds

In today's installment of our discussion of Georges Simenon's Engagement, Chad Post addresses Mark Binelli's comments on whether the book really subverts the expectations of the genre—Editor's note. For any of you who haven't read the book yet, the part of John Gray's afterword that (I believe)…...

Mark Binelli Weighs in on Simenon

Mark Binelli's post, below, is part of our monthlong discussion of Georges Simenon's Engagement, WWB's pick for our September Book Club. Mark is leading the discussion along with Chad Post, whose first two blog posts you can find here and here. Check them out and be sure to return for more--it's Simenon…...

Chronicle of a Murder Foretold

A Polish writer has been convicted of a 2000 murder that replicated (or, more accurately, foreshadowed) the pulpy plot of his 2003 novel. The court ruled the evidence insufficient to convict Krystian Bala of killing Dariusz Janiszewski, but strong enough to charge him with planning and orchestrating…...

Biography and Online Resources for Georges Simenon’s The Engagement Book Club

Before getting into the book itself, I thought it would be useful to get a little more info about Simenon himself—aside from the fact that he was a great showman. Below is a brief outline of Simenon and his career, straight from the New York Review Books Reading Group Guide, which is also worth…...

An Introduction to Georges Simenon’s The Engagement

I had never heard of Georges Simenon before New York Review Books brought out Dirty Snow and Tropic Moon back a few years ago. What most caught my attention—and most intimidated me in terms of picking one of these up—was a statement from the íAbout the Authorë section: íGeorges…...

Reading the World with Georges Simenon

We're very pleased to announce the launch of our September Book Club on Georges Simenon's The Engagement, as part of the Reading the World series. This month, discussion will be headed by guest bloggers Chad Post from Three Percent, translator Anna Moschovakis and Rolling Stone contributor, Mark Binelli.…...

The Maias by Eça de Queirós

This review of Margaret Jull Costa's translation of Eça de Queirós's The Maias from the International Herald Tribune comes just in time for our monthlong celebration of writing from the Lusophone world. Alan Riding gives us a glimpse of the pointed social commentary and passionate style…...

Open Call for Manga

Ned Beauman at the Guardian's Book Blog gives us a refresher course in Japanese Manga and polls his readers in his most recent post. The perplexing and often misunderstood Japanese narrative art form has come under criticism from readers in the west for its sporadic pacing, sometimes unusual themes,…...

Bill Marx on Dating Dürrenmatt

Bill Marx has a great piece over at the Arts Fuse on the role that timeliness plays in a work's reception and how books come into and go out of fashion. Marx dishes on reviews of the Williamstown Theater Festival's now closed production of Friedrich Dürrenmatt's The Physicists and the critics' various…...

August, 2007

Paradiso Re-translated

Jean and Robert Hollander have just come out with the last installment of their translation of the Divine Comedy. The release of the final canticle of the Hollanders' triad is discussed in this week's New Yorker. Jean Hollander deals with the verse in the pair's translations, and Robert, ostensibly with…...

Strange Book in a Strange Land

If the life of the mind is what binds us across differences of nation, belief and race, then surely bookstores are the outposts of that warm and inviting brotherhood. Maud Newton has been running short features from her readers on bookstores across America and the world that they are particularly fond…...

Burning Down Madurai

In honour of a trip to Chennai tomorrow, here's a post dedicated to a gem of Tamil literature that I recently revisited after many years. R. Parthasarathy's translation of Ilango Adigal's Tamil-language epic, the Silapadikaram, or the Epic of the Anklet is a fantastic read, not least of all for the hallowed…...

Googlies in Dublin and Madrid

The Guardian has a story on Ian Gibson's Viento del Sur (Wind of the South), which was recently published in Spain and is rapidly selling out its printrun. The twist in this otherwise ordinary publishing success story is that though Gibson has been a Spanish national for over 20 years, he was born and…...

Writing 60 Years Later

It's the eve of Indian Independence Day, and a round-up of some of the current writing on the occasion of the nation's 60th year of independence seems to be in order: Pankaj Mishra speaks about the legacy of Indian nationalism in his New Yorker review of Alex von Tunzelbeck's Indian Summer and the growing…...

A Rather Strange Career Change

It has now been two weeks since I came to this small village in the Bavarian Alps. The village itself is pretty, and the lake nearby might be even described as beautiful. One could easily think that I traveled to Bavaria to spend my holiday here. Maybe I came here because of my childhood memories. Even…...

Another Word for Murder

It's hot. It's humid. We're sticky. It's Friday and already this week we've watched the New York City Transit system crumble in the wake of a tornado in Brooklyn(?!) It's definitely August--and time to get away. But what to read? Springfield Massachusetts, it turns out, has the answer. Courtesy of an…...

Bud Parr on Witold Gombrowicz

Bud Parr, over at Chekhov's Mistress has a brief review of Witold Gombrowicz's short story collection Bacacay (Archipelago Books) that's a great preview of the quirky, beautiful style of this underread master of 20th-Century fiction. Parr's favorite story, Adventures, was also one that we loved. For…...

Jack Kerouac Sur la Route

It seems like everyone is celebrating the 50th anniversary of On the Road by recreating Jack Kerouac's trip across America, but Pierre-Olivier Labbe's blog at Le Monde Online is a wonderful reminder of the original spirit of Kerouac's journey. As Labbe describes it, Ce reportage photographique propose…...

New Fiction from Daniil Kharms

Look out for never-before-translated short fiction by Russian absurdist and Words without Borders author Daniil Kharms in this week's issue of the New Yorker. Kharms' work, suppressed by the Soviet government during his lifetime and still underrepresented in translation, is a must-read for his inventiveness…...

George Tabori

On July 23 the theater director, playwright and writer George Tabori died. Unfortunately, Mr. Tabori is not widely known outside Germany and Austria. His relative obscurity doesn't do justice to the quality of his texts. (I cannot judge the quality of Mr. Tabori as a theater director. I have never seen…...

July, 2007

Welcome Three Percent!

The indefatigable Chad Post and E.J. Van Lanen have just launched their wide-ranging blog at the University of Rochester, appropriately entitled Three Percent, which reflects the percentage of books translated into English every year in the U.S. Congratulations to both Chad and E.J. on this fresh, and…...

A Visa Success?

Over at Inside Higher Ed, they're reporting a visa success story that goes to show mostly just how hard it is to get a visa in the current environment. Waskar Ari, a Bolivian national and professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln receives his US work visa, but only after the University sues…...

June, 2007

This Week in Diacritics

With this issue, we present our most challenging translation: the redesign and re-engineering of the WWB site. During the transition, a number of codes and special characters were muddled, including—mortifyingly—our beloved diacritics. Which got me thinking about these sherpas of foreign…...

Teacher’s Forum

This forum is for teachers of world literature to exchange ideas on using WWB in the classroom. Tell us your favorite story to teach, activities you've used for teaching literature in translation, post your own syllabi, and/or ask questions of your fellow teachers. This is your forum. We look forward…...

Translation Talk

This forum is for you, our readers interested in translation, practitioners of translation, and others, to ask questions, exchange ideas, and share thoughts on the topic of translation. If you wish to ask our translators a question, please note who your question is for and/or the name of the relevant…...

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