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March, 2014

Where the Sidewalk Bends: Carnaval Edition

At the Carnaval blocos (street parties) in Rio last week—rising above the sea of fluorescent wigs, animal ears, and sequined fedoras—I saw the same three signs reappear: Não Vai Ter Copa (There Won’t Be A World Cup), Tá Tudo Caro (Everything’s Expensive), and,…...

From the Translator: Standing Stone Souls: My Journey into the Poetry of María Auxiliadora Álvarez

The Yucatan Peninsula has always had a powerful hold on me. I used to say I went there for refueling with every rite of passage. This particular trip had been a surprise. Following my divorce, after a twenty-year marriage that was as difficult as it was long, I had gone to my high- school class reunion.…...

Rational Animal

I did not meet Maya K’iche’ poet Pablo García in person; rather, as with a number of other poets whose work I have translated, my first contact with him was in a bookstore, where I read his poems aloud to myself in Spanish. I had come across his bilingual K’iche’-Spanish…...

The Week in Translation

what: Translation Matters: A Panel Discussion with Cristina Garcia, Kolin Jordan, Achy Obejas, and Valeria Luiselli, moderated by WWB editorial director Susan Harris when: March 19, 20014, 5 pm where: Humboldt Park Fieldhouse, 1400 N. Sacramento (North of Division), Chicago, IL more info: http://guildcomplex.org/event/panel-translation-matters/…...

Stealth Methods: Teaching Translation

I admit it: I’m sneaky when it comes to international literature. I try to sneak translated texts and even just the awareness of language and translation into all of my classes. And why not? Literature comes from all over the world, and if we’re trying to produce well-educated students, it…...

Is Translation Edible?

The plate can be a tricky place for translators. Who’s in charge, the brain or the stomach? Do words reveal or hide what’s on the plate? Food is culture much more than it is words, and learning the names of new foods and pantry items is only step one. Culture does not reside in dictionaries.…...

The City and the Writer: In Lugano with Fabiano Alborghetti

Image of The City and the Writer: In Lugano with Fabiano Alborghetti
Special Series / Switzerland, 2014 If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.  —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities   Can you describe the mood of…...

The Week in Translation

GO what: Peaver and Volokhonsky An intimate conversation about the art of translation​ with world-renowned translators, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. Hosted by Susan Bernofsky. when: Wednesday, March 12, 7pm where: Dodge Hall, Columbia University what: Peru's Underground/American…...

Translation at AWP

Last week’s AWP conference featured an impressive array of panels on translation’s growing presence in the creative writing world. Among those was a panel titled “Double Lives: Writer/Translators,” moderated by WWB editorial director Susan Harris, in which poets who translate…...

Where the Sidewalk Bends: Notes from a Poet in Rio

Image of Where the Sidewalk Bends: Notes from a Poet in Rio
Shortly after sundown on February 2nd, I boarded a snow-covered Boeing 777 in New York City, my bags stuffed to just under the weight limit with clothes and books, and landed the following morning on a palm tree-lined tarmac in São Paulo. It’s been eight years since I last passed through…...

My Favorite Bookstore: Ian Ferrier on The Word

Image of My Favorite Bookstore: Ian Ferrier on The Word
The Word, 469 Milton Street, Montreal, Quebec There’s a little second-hand bookstore near McGill University in Montreal that has been my favorite stop for years. It’s called The Word, and like many good bookstores around the world, it hasn’t changed a whole lot in 30 years. I know this…...

February, 2014

Publishing against the Grain

I became a publisher out of sheer frustration. The reason is closely tied to my self-definition as an immigrant. I moved from Mexico to the United States in the mid-‘80s seeking intellectual freedom. I dreamed of becoming an essayist and wanted to be right at the epicenter of culture. Almost from…...

The City and the Writer: In Bucharest with Mircea Cărtărescu

Image of The City and the Writer: In Bucharest with Mircea Cărtărescu
If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains. —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Bucharest as you feel/see it? Bucharest is like the…...

Translator Relay: Ellen Elias-Bursac

What is your connection to the language(s) you translate from and/or the place(s) where the books you translate are written? When I was an undergraduate, my Russian professors were so anti-Soviet that they wanted us to spend our junior year abroad studying Russian at Radio Free Europe in Munich.…...

NYC Event: An Evening with Leonardo Padura, February 26

Image of NYC Event: An Evening with Leonardo Padura, February 26
Where: 61 Local, 61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn When: February 26, 7 PM In The Man Who Loved Dogs, Leonardo Padura explores one of the most compelling and complex political plots of the last century—the assassination of Leon Trotsky by Ramón Mercader in Mexico City. Kirkus calls the…...

From the Translator: The “I” in Communism

North or South? Whether you’re Korean-American or an expat living in South Korea, it’s the question everyone wants to ask you. Which Korea are you from? Which Korea are you living in? It’s usually answered with an eye roll and a muttered “South, obviously.” Which isn’t…...

The Week in Translation

what: French Literature in the Making: Jérôme Ferrari where: Maison Français of NYU when: Monday, February 24, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/tsHQ2 what: French Literature Night @ Cornelia Café where: Cornelia Street Cafe when: Monday, February 24, 6pm more info: http://ow.ly/tsI6K...

From the Translator: Tintin in the Land of Foreign Affairs

In 2006, Tom McCarthy claimed that the pages of Tintin contained the secret of literature; in 2010, Abel Lanzac and Christophe Blain declared that Tintin held the secret of making a good political speech. Invoking as it did that evergreen classic of Francophone comics, or bande dessinée, the scene…...

The City and the Writer: In Havana with Leonardo Padura

Image of The City and the Writer: In Havana with Leonardo Padura
If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains. —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Havana as you feel/see it? I try to reflect the life…...

Name the Translator

Recently two of my Facebook friends posted links to reviews of their work that neither named nor noticed them. This would be inconceivable if my friends were authors, film or stage actors, or artists, but my friends are translators, so not being mentioned is par for the proverbial course. Add this latest…...

The Week in Translation

what: French Literature in the Making: Jérôme Ferrari where: Maison Français of NYU when: Monday, February 24, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/tsHQ2 what: French Literature Night @ Cornelia Café where: Cornelia Street Cafe when: Monday, February 24, 6pm more info: http://ow.ly/tsI6K...

Fellowships for Chinese Poetry & Translation at The Vermont Studio Center

what: 2014 VSC/Luce Foundation Chinese Poetry & Translation Fellowships Six awards for outstanding poets living anywhere in the world whose primary language is Chinese. These awards include roundtrip travel and a discretionary stipend. Six awards for talented English-language translators working…...

The Week in Translation

what: Kafka Translated: A panel discussion on translating Kafka with Michelle Woods, Mark Harman (translator of The Castle and Amerika), Susan Bernofsky (translator of "The Metamorphosis"), and Alex Zucker (translator of contemporary Czech fiction). where: Czech…...

A Comment on “Viva Translation”

Luis Magrinyà's essay "Viva Translation," translated by Anne McLean and published in our current issue, prompted this response from translator Margaret Carson. We invite readers to join the discussion by posting in the comments. Luis Magrinyà (as translated by Anne McLean)…...

New in French: Léonora Miano’s “La Saison de l’Ombre”

Image of New in French: Léonora Miano’s “La Saison de l’Ombre”
La Saison de l’ombre is set during the height of the slave trade, in the sub-Saharan village of Mulongo. It is the moving story of the villagers’ struggle to cope with the shocking kidnapping of twelve tribe members during a mysterious fire. The novel begins as the survivors rebuild the village…...

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