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August 2009

Into The Wild: International Nature Writing

As summer descends, and minds wander to the out-of-doors, our authors cultivate relationships with the natural world. From lyrical reports about life in unfamiliar territories, both hot and cold, to brooding accounts of the fever that nature puts into the mind and work of writers around the world, our August issue crosses over to the wild side. Follow Laurentino Gomes, Manuel de Lope, Nikos Kachtitsis, László Krasznahorkai, Mohamed Magani, Cees Nooteboom, Harald Weinrich, and Raúl Zurita as they explore the unknown and confront the untamed.

From “El último lobo”
By László Krasznahorkai
He was doing nothing, not a damn thing, simply drifting, spending hours sitting in the Sparschwein with his first glass of Sternburg at his side [ . . . ]
Translated from Hungarian by George Szirtes
From “Bestiary”
The curtain goes up on the reading world from A to Zoo, emblematic. Here come the animals, tame and wild: Already it's problematic. * Apes smile at what they see When standing before mirrors. People…
Translated from German
mopete has read thomas mann
and so mopete has stopped in a bewitched interval of his soul, for him as if on a magic mountain where it's snowing everywhere, while many just sit and gaze out the window, boring themselves, idly…
Translated from Romanian
mopete and uniqueness
mopete, listening as a friend of his quotes wassily kandinsky, has a strange vision, a figment of his solitude—an ancient hypostasis, blotches without a trace of reality thrown upon the canvas on…
Translated from Romanian
deep meditation
vasilescu's father's friend has left the seaside to go to a monastery in the north. there in the mountains he wants to empty his mind of thought until it comes to entertain a notion of that provisional…
Translated from Romanian
holiday pleasures
vasilescu's father's friend is playing with a beach ball. tentatively, he throws it toward the sea, gathers it in the shadow cast by his body, not minding the waves at his feet now breaking against…
Translated from Romanian
the introduction of vasilescu’s father’s friend
mopete went to the theatre today. he took a girl, and vasilescu's father's friend saw him—called hello to him, too—mopete threw a meaningful, if too obvious glance at the girl beside…
Translated from Romanian
A Journey to Spitsbergen
I On the flight from Oslo to Tromsø, two worlds: the land far below me, the map on my lap. Outside, the sun is setting. The clouds hanging over the land on my map have been painted by Max Ernst,…
Translated from Dutch
From “Iberia”
There are those who think that Mundaca is the most beautiful town on the Biscayan coast. In mid-autumn, on stormy days, the wind has stripped the trees naked. Summer homes seemed abandoned, but the charm…
Translated from Spanish
From “Mezzanine”
By Nikos Kachtitsis
The pages that follow were found by me in a sorry state of disorder, amidst a number of other worthless papers, spotted with tropical mildew, ready for the fire, in the basement of a bookstore where I…
Translated from Greek by Lissi Athanasiou Krikeli & George Fragopoulos
1808
By Laurentino Gomes
Thus began the most noteworthy period of transformation in Rio de Janeiro.
Translated from Portuguese by Alison Entrekin
Seismic Activity
By Mohamed Magani
I am one of those writers who like to incorporate the short story in the novel. I did so in some novels, playing with forms. But to place the novel in the short story is another story, virtually impossible.…
Translated from French by Catherine Spencer
Love of Chile
For love of Chile, for love of all things from north to south, east and west all that opens, all that speaks White-water rivers and glaciered peaks touch and speak words of love because in this world…
Translated from Spanish
Shoes
By Luis Rafael Hernández
The clamor of children grew more faint.“It’s good you came to get me early. Mom always takes forever.”“Your mother works late.”“Why don’t you pick me up every…
Translated from Spanish by Tobias Hecht