Archives

December, 2007

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…...

Akutagawa—the Writer, the Works

As we near the end of our discussion of Ryunosuke Akutagawa's The Mandarins this month, Michael Orthofer dwells a little on our ideas of the author and his work. Earlier posts can be found here: a look at the titular story, Mandarins; the approach to storytelling in Evening Conversation; a conversation…...

Miami Part Two—The Agent Buzz Panel

Miami Part Two—Buzz Panel suggestions It's almost 60 degrees and sunny here in New York City, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is in full swing (welcome Shrek, Abby Cadabby, and to the joy of schoolgirls everywhere, "Hello Kitty Supercute"), and the Broadway stagehands are still on strike. Something…...

High Noon in Linz

I grew up without weapons. While nobody in my family was a vegetarian—or ever thought of becoming one—I was taught that hunting was a pastime for those who despised science and art. The philosopher Roger Scruton would have vehemently disagreed with my education, but no matter. When I was…...

Ka-pow! It’s Literature!

Love classic literature but wish it had a little more visual flair? Big fan of nuanced story-telling and solid dialogue, but wish more of it came in speech balloons? Well, then head on over to Again with the Comics, where they bring Crime and Punishment back to life (in all its camp glory), re-imagined…...

Miami, Part One

Miami Book Fair International/Translation Market Was it only last weekend that I dove into an outdoor pool surrounded by gorgeous palms at twilight? As I floated on my back, gazing up at the slowly darkening, famous Miami sky shot through with glints of goldenrod, copper, and violet, I luxuriated in…...

The Guardian on Translation

Richard Lea in the Guardian uses the Society of Authors' annual translation prize as a springboard to explore the current state of translation publishing.

Literary Influences and East Meets West

Michael Orthofer continues with yet another post for this month's book club, on the next of the stories from Ryunosuke Akutagawa's collections Mandarins. We began the month with an introduction to Akutagawa's works; a look at the titular story, Mandarins; and the approach to storytelling in Evening Conversation.…...

Huang Xiang and City of Asylum

Head on over to You Tube and take a look at this video by Jose Muniain on City of Asylum, Pittsburgh and poet Huang Xiang, a former artist in residence at the Sampsonia Way centre. The video highlights the work that the Cities of Refuge projects do in providing safe harbour to artists whose lives or…...

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