Around the Web: Marías, Bolaño, Best Translated Book Long-list

By Bud Parr

I'll be reporting here a bit more about Javier Marías, but ran across this today (when reading a letter to the editor of TLS by the wonderful writer Gabriel Josipovici) and think it will be of interest to Marías fans:

Marías’s mentor

Sir, – Reviewing Your Face Tomorrow 3 by Javier Marías, Margaret Drabble wonders (November 13) what Sir Peter Russell (1913–2006), the Oxford scholar whom she calls Marías’s mentor, made of the “fictionalization of his distinguished career”. I can tell her: he was mildly amused and, his vanity tickled, did not object. He was far from fully enthusiastic, however, and would have agreed with Drabble that the novel owed as much if not more to James Bond than to Marcel Proust.

Wheeler, incidentally, the name he is given in the novels, was Sir Peter’s original surname, which he changed to Russell by deed poll, at an early age, so as to qualify for an inheritance from a relative on his mother’s side. Drabble also comments on how unconvincing is the final explanation for Wheeler’s (or Russell’s) wife’s death. The wife was only Wheeler’s. Russell, who was homosexual, never married.

- Daniel Waissbein, Buenos Aires

[Link]

If you still haven't read Roberto Bolaño's 2666, then you may want to check out this reading group getting underway later in the month, led by Matt Bucher at Las Obras de Roberto Bolaño.

Three Percent has published their long-list for the 2010 Best Translated Book Award. See the list and read about it in The Guardian:

The prize, set up in 2007 to combat the lack of translated titles on "best of the year" lists, is run by the international literature website Three Percent, part of New York's University of Rochester. Pamuk makes the line-up for his latest novel The Museum of Innocence, an Istanbul-set account of an obsessive love affair translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely, while Le Clézio was picked by judges for his novel Desert, an epic story of a North African desert tribe and its descendents translated from the French by C Dickson. Bolaño was selected for The Skating Rink, a short novel about a beautiful figure skating champion translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews.

["Pamuk, Le Clézio and Bolaño battle for translation prize" The Guardian]

That's all for now. I'm sure once we've settled in more to our new home you'll see quite a bit more posting here.


Comments

1

Indeed Gabriel Josipovici is a wonderful writer, but not the writer of the letter “Marias’s Mentor” in the TLS of 6 January.  GJ’s letter was on “What are universities for?”.  The correspondance on Marias was by Daniel Waissbein of Buenos Aires.

2

Thanks, Sandra - guess I wasn’t clear there. Didn’t mean to imply that he was. I’ll put Daniel’s credit back in there.

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