Today in International Lit

By David Varno

This past summer in Poland, the film adaptation of Dorota Masłowska's novel Snow White and Russian Red has become quite a hit, seven years after the book was originally published by the then-19-year-old literary sensation. Alex Nowacki at the Krakow Post reflects on the phenomenon, and compares the movie to the book with a catchy 2nd person summary of the plot. Benjamin Paloff's English translation was published in 2005, and we published an excerpt in January of that year. In addition, Paloff followed with an essay on the state of Polish literature and conditions in Poland that have contributed to the embrace of social critique such as Maslowska's.

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In the midst of a push for funding, Archipelago Books received some great press Sunday on The Bookshop Blog, with an interview between editor Dave Lievens and blogger Kim Allen-Niesen (who also co-runs the Bookshop People blog, which features a review of a translated book every Tuesday).

Asked what he thought booksellers should know about translated books, Lievens stressed the importance of "World Fiction" or "International Literature" sections or tables. "Since we all have to accept that translations aren't going to sell to everybody," he said, "why not embrace the upside of that: there are plenty of readers out there who are looking for books from outside of America, and they tend to be the type of people who buy a lot of books!"

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In late July the Center for the Art of Translation launched a blog called Two Words, run by Quarterly Conversation editor Scott Esposito, and it is quickly building momentum with a biographical post from John Oliver Simon on "Becoming a Translator of Latin American Poetry,", a Susan Bernofsky interivew by Annie Janusch, as well as many fine posts from Esposito.

Today's post from Esposito features a preview of Lawrence Venuti's introduction to his translation of Catalan poet Ernest Farres' collection Edward Hopper, due this fall from Graywolf. The series of poems are based on Hopper's work, and in their opening Farres claims the painter as his alter ego. Venuti translates: íIf Goethe was reincarnated in Kafka,ë he writes (in my version), íHopper in a transmigration most apt / pulled it off in me.ë


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