15 December 09 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Following on the last post about December being a month of year-end donations, it’s also a month of submitting applications and books for a variety of awards. So here’s the first of three posts about various book prizes:

On behalf of the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University, I am pleased to announce that submissions are now being accepted for the 2010 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature.

For over twenty years, the Keene Center and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission have annually awarded a monetary prize (current annual total: $6,000) to deserving American recipients whose works represent outstanding translation of Japanese literature. We would appreciate your support in making this year’s competition our most successful. A prize in the amount of $3,000 is given for the best translation of a modern work and for the best translation of a classical work, or at times the prize is divided between two equally distinguished translations regardless of category.

To qualify, submissions must be book-length translations of Japanese literature: novels, collections of short stories, literary essays, memoirs, drama, and poetry are all acceptable. Furthermore, all applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Submissions are judged on the literary merit of the translation and the accuracy with which it reflects the spirit of the Japanese original. Eligible submissions may include unpublished manuscripts, works in press, or books published within two years of the prize date (works published before January 1, 2008, will not be accepted). Applications may be submitted by individual translators or their publishers. Past winners and previously submitted works are ineligible.

Required application materials include: seven (7) copies of the English translation; one (1) copy of the Japanese original; seven (7) copies of the translator’s CV or resume; and seven (7) copies of the application form. Letters of support or recommendation are also encouraged.

The deadline for submissions for the 2010 Translation Prize is Tuesday, January 19, 2010.

For additional information, please visit the Keene Center Web site..

There you go . . . And stay tuned for info if you’re a publisher/translator of a French book, or someone wanting to get in on the Best Translated Book Award for Poetry . . .

13 October 08 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Richard Nash is teaching a class with the above title at Columbia this spring. Sounds really interesting:

Forty years ago Roland Barthes announced the “Death of the Author,” yet not only are there more authors than ever, but more with more blogs, websites, and YouTube trailers. Now, it is the “Death of Print” that has been announced. Is this obituary greatly exaggerated? Or, if true, is print even mourned?

With the help of a tremendously eclectic reading list comprising philosophy, gossip, true crime, cultural anthropology, poetry, and fiction of all stripes, we’re going to examine the evolution of the book publishing industry so as to delineate the possibilities for the cultural and economic role of the writer and editor in the coming decades.

13 March 08 | Chad W. Post | Comments [1]

Since I referenced this earlier, and since it’s just a few weeks away, I feel like I should post some information about the National Grad Student Translation Conference that the Center for Literary Translation at Columbia University will be hosting From March 28th through the 30th.

As stated in this press release this is the third biennial translation conference (the first two took place at UCLA and the University of Iowa). All events are free and open to the public, and more info can be found at the Center for Literary Translation website.

I hate to do this, but to fit an image of the conference poster into this column made it basically unreadable, but here’s a link to a pdf version.

The keynote event is a discussion between the Fifteenth Poet Laureate of the United States, Charles Simic and Academic Director of the Center for Literary Translation, Michael Scammell that will take place at Columbia’s Casa Italiana.

A number of the events sound fantastic, especially the opening reading (which Open Letter is actually sponsoring):

Friday, March 28 at 7:30 pm
Philosophy Hall 301

Karen Emmerich, translator of Poems (1945-1971) by Miltos
Sachtouris; Idra Novey, translator of The Clean Shirt of It
by Paulo Henriques Britto; Lisa Lubasch, translator of Paul
Éluard’s A Moral Lesson; Peter Wortsman, a translator of
Heinrich Heine, Robert Musil, and others.

Saturday’s events include roundtables on “Multilingualism and Translation,” “Translation and Publishing,” “Translation and the Academy,” and “Translation and Canon Formation.”

Two roundtable discussions will take place on Sunday: “Translation and Theory” and “Translation Ethics, Censorship, Speaking Out.”

With a stellar list of participates—including Alfred MacAdam, Susan Bernofsky, Eliot Weinberger, Dedi Felman, Jill Schoolman, and many, many more—this should be a really interesting conference. One that I’ll definitely blog about in excruciating detail . . .

Dinner by César Aira
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

César Aira dishes up an imaginative parable on how identity shapes our sense of belonging with Dinner, his latest release in English. Aira’s narrator (who, appropriately, remains nameless) is a self-pitying, bitter man—in his late fifties, living again with. . .

Read More >

We're Not Here to Disappear
We're Not Here to Disappear by Olivia Rosenthal
Reviewed by Megan C. Ferguson

Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli. . .

Read More >

The Queen's Caprice
The Queen's Caprice by Jean Echenoz
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Even though the latest from Jean Echenoz is only a thin volume containing seven of what he calls “little literary objects,” it is packed with surprises. In these pieces, things happen below the surface, sometimes both literally and figuratively. As. . .

Read More >

French Concession
French Concession by Xiao Bai
Reviewed by Emily Goedde

Who is this woman? This is the question that opens Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a novel of colonial-era Shanghai’s spies and revolutionaries, police and smugglers, who scoot between doorways, walk nonchalantly down avenues, smoke cigars in police bureaus, and lounge. . .

Read More >

Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love.. . .

Read More >

The Cold Song
The Cold Song by Linn Ullmann
Reviewed by David Richardson

Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .

Read More >

This Life
This Life by Karel Schoeman
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .

Read More >