Hello there!

I feel like it’s been ages since I last posted anything new here . . . In my defense, it’s kind of tricky finding the time to come up with good material during a ten-day trip to Abu Dhabi, two panels (including the 2010 BTBA announcement), and an extended trip to New York. Two-and-a-half weeks of traveling is mentally exhausting.

I’m back in Rochester though, feeling more and more energized every sunny day that I can ride my bike to work, and ready to get back into all of this. Well, sort of. With the NCAA tournament starting in two hours, and a million-and-one things to catch up on, I think I need another day or so to get sorted. So instead of a number of thoughtful, well-put-together posts (as if that ever happens anyway), here’s a smattering of things:

  • The Australian Association for Literary Translation just launched the AALITRA Review, to publish translations with commentary and essays on the art&craft of translation. You can download the entire first issue (in pdf format) by clicking the link above. Number of interesting pieces in here, including a translation by Peter Hodges of “Don’t Trust the Band” by Boris Vian.
  • PEN America’s 2010 In Translation feature is now available online, and, as expected, is fricking loaded with material. Just look at the list of conversations: Anthea Bell & Doris Orgel (e-mail exchange), Nahid Mozaffari and Sara Khalili (audio), Gregory Rabassa, Edith Grossman, and Michael F. Moore (!!!!!!!). There’s also a number of good excerpts, including a piece from Robert Walser’s Microscripts, a few prologues from Macedonio Fernandez’s The Museum of Eterna’s Novel (everyone should read this), and a bit from Alejandro Zambra’s The Private Lives of Trees. And that’s just scratching the surface . . .
  • Next week we’re going to giveaway copies of Macedonio’s book to our Facebook fans, so if you’re not already one, you need to be. Clicking here to become a fan and have a chance to win.
  • Recently I had heard from a bunch of translators about a crazy new program that Dalkey/U of I had launched through which translators can pay $5,000 to get their first full-length book translation published. Which everyone I heard from thought this was a total scam. In Dalkey’s defense, there is a lot a translator could learn from working closely with an editor on a particular manuscript . . . but to be honest, the publication aspect changes this—in my mind, and all the translators who forwarded this announcement to me complete with their witty remarks (thanks!)—from a low-residency MFA sort of set-up, to something more vanity and seedy. (But seriously, wtf is going on here? It’s like being punched in the brain! Or a way induce seizures in kids? Although there are a billion things to make fun of here—like the fact that it may well be the most unreadable website ever—I’m not going to do it. Or at least I’m going to stop right now. Right. Now.)

In addition to a series of posts about the always interesting Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, we also have a few reviews coming up, including pieces on the new Peter Handke and Dubravka Ugresic titles.

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