Archives

January, 2014

The City and the Writer: In Guatemala City with David Unger

Image of The City and the Writer: In Guatemala City with David Unger
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 Guatemala City as you feel/see it? The mood depends…...

Translator Relay: Danuta Borchardt

What is your connection to the language(s) you translate from and/or the place(s) where the books you translate are written? I translate from the Polish, which is my native tongue. The books were written in Poland and Argentina. Can you give us an example of an "untranslateable" word or phrase, and tell…...

Asymptote’s Third Anniversary: The State of Translation

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Despite the onset of winter storm Janus, the Housing Works Bookstore Café was packed on January 21 for Asymptote’s third anniversary event, “The State of Translation.” Asymptote is an exciting international journal dedicated to literary translation, published quarterly and available…...

The Week in Translation

what: The Bridge Series: Cole Swensen and Kit Schulter where: McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street when: Sunday, February 9, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/sZzyi what: Festival Neue Literatur: Festival Neue Literatur (FNL) was established as a collaborative project of New York’s…...

Oulipian Champagne: Mucking with Caradec’s Deft Trickery

I remember watching Yvonne Rainer’s Journeys from Berlin/1971 in film class, and I recall the feeling of sitting in that dark Simon Fraser annex classroom searching for patterns that eluded me.  Hmm, in the past three shots, the traffic has been moving to the left.  Maybe THAT means something.…...

Opening New Doors on to New Worlds: Sport and Translation

Stories about feats of endurance and courage against the odds have been told since 776 BC when the ancient Olympic Games began. We all need myths and heroes: self-actualization lies at the core of their journey. Usain Bolt, Rebecca Adlington, Chris Hoy, Carl Hester, Mo Farah . . . Thanks to the star…...

The Week in Translation

what: Asymptote's 3rd Anniversary Celebration: The State of Translation, featuring Eliot Weinberger, Robyn Creswell, Idra Novey, Daniella Gitlin and Jeffrey Yang.  where: Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012 when: Tuesday, January 21, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/sxAqT…...

Exploiting the Translator’s Mind Palace: Contemporary German Fiction 101

As a single parent of a teenager, I am constantly on the lookout for ways to earn extra money without doing less literary translation work, which I love and which provides about half of my income. I am also convinced that we translators are experts in our respective fields, getting closer to the literature…...

Reflections: Juan Gelman

Yesterday, just before the first full moon of the year, Argentine poet-in-exile Juan Gelman died; and last night, my head was full of extraordinary images of Juan. First, I remembered 1975, when Eduardo Galeano gave me a copy of Juan’s Obra poética “to see how it would work in…...

Preface to Life

To Mohsen Emadi There are voices that stop us that open the ground and fold our hearts into tiny squares   You tell me, Juan left us— I need your embrace   I tell you, Amiri left us— who’s the world now?   Our grief hanging on a telephone line Mexico City—Vermont…...

The Week in Translation

what: Asymptote's 3rd Anniversary Celebration: The State of Translation, featuring Eliot Weinberger, Robyn Creswell, Idra Novey, Daniella Gitlin and Jeffrey Yang.  where: Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012 when: Tuesday, January 21, 7pm more info: http://ow.ly/sxAqT...

Writers against Mass Surveillance: An International Grassroots Protest

One month ago today, the anti-surveillance appeal “A Stand for Democracy in the Digital Age” was launched; it has since has been signed by more than 195,000 people on Change.org. Initiated by a small group of European writers and one American translator, it began with a manifesto signed by…...

My Favorite Bookstore: Nicky Harman on Arthur Probsthain Oriental and African Bookseller

Image of My Favorite Bookstore: Nicky Harman on Arthur Probsthain Oriental and African Bookseller
Arthur Probsthain Oriental and African Bookseller, 41 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3PE In the narrow streets opposite the imposing edifice of the British Museum in Bloomsbury, London, there are a host of nooky little shops selling everything from replica antiques to T-shirts to books. But Probsthain’s…...

December, 2013

Our Year, in Review

As 2013 draws to a close, we'd like to thank our writers, translators, and readers for their many contributions in the last twelve months. This year has been one of celebration, as we marked our tenth anniversary, welcomed a new executive director, published our first e-book anthology,…...

The City and the Writer: In New York City with Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Image of The City and the Writer: In New York City with Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Part of the Special City Series/ New York City   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.                    …...

The Translator Relay: Andrea G. Labinger

What is your connection to the language(s) you translate from and/or the place(s) where the books you translate are written? I began studying Spanish formally in seventh grade as part of an experimental project for junior high students who were selected on some basis that I no longer remember. But my…...

WWB’s Holiday Reading List

Having a hard time choosing between all the great books in translation available this time of year? Let WWB's staff, reviewers, and contributors guide you through the best books in translation we read this year. —the Editors    Jonathan Blitzer Where There's Love There's…...

The City and the Writer: In New York City with Meena Alexander

Image of The City and the Writer: In New York City with Meena Alexander
Part of the Special City Series / New York City 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.                …...

Hunting for Trilobites: An Interview with Dror Burstein

Image of Hunting for Trilobites: An Interview with Dror Burstein
I met Dror Burstein on a cool May morning on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. His wry, slow-burning humor is easy to relate to the gently idiosyncratic style of his writing. Words without Borders published his story “The Dakar Courier” in 2010, and I was fresh off reading Netanya,…...

The City and the Writer: In Bethlehem

Image of The City and the Writer: In Bethlehem
There is magic in Bethlehem. Walk its ancient narrow streets. Allow the limestone to tell you tales and when you reach Manger Square and see the Nativity Church, listen to the chants coming from within its walls. As the symphony of candlelight sways inside the church, even the least religious can feel…...

J.M.G. Le Clézio Shows Us How It’s Done

Image of J.M.G. Le Clézio Shows Us How It’s Done
Read The African, the newly translated memoir by Nobel laureate J.M.G. Le Clézio, to learn more about the author’s childhood, personality, and relationship with his father. Read it for the sometimes elegant beauty of the prose. Just don’t read it for its insights into Africa and its…...

Call for Applications: Banff International Literary Centre (BILTC)

what: The Banff International Literary Translation Centre The Banff International Literary Translation Centre is open to 15 literary translators from the Americas translating works from any country in the world, as well as to translators from all over the world who are translating works from the Americas. Each…...

Communications Intern

Words without Borders (WWB) seeks an outgoing, creative, and highly organized Communications Intern for the Spring of 2014. The Communications Intern will report to the Executive Director and work closely with the Editors to promote our monthly online magazine of international literature and…...

From the Translator: Content with Constraint

The question most on a translator’s mind, when working on an Oulipian text, is, do you translate the constraint or the content? Can you do both: follow both the potentiality unleashed by the constraint and the text actually on the page? Can you offer the reader both an absorptive reading of a text-in-itself…...

Self-translation / Self-destruction

Soon after being co-opted into the Oulipo in 1998, I started to write in French, while also continuing to write in English, and working as an all-around freelance translator (poetry, fiction, IT, marketing, ad campaigns, you name it). I’d only just taken this decisive step in my literary development,…...

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