14 February 13 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Calling all Krashnahorkai fans (of which there are legion): The next issue of Music & Literature, which is available for preorder now, will feature a bunch of interesting works by and about your favorite Laszlo.

Music & Literature_’s second issue, now available for pre-order, features new literature on and by László Krasznahorkai, Béla Tarr, and Max Neumann. This special volume presents, for the first time in English, an extensive selection of newly translated fiction spanning Krasznahorkai’s 26-year career, alongside an array of new appreciations and essays on his work by top critics and artists from around the world; a portfolio of photographs by cinematographer Gábor Medvigy, taken on-set while filming Tarr’s masterpiece _Sátántangó; and 24 new paintings by renowned German artist Max Neumann, who previously collaborated with Krasznahorkai on the chapbook Animalinside (New Directions Books & Sylph Editions, 2010). An essential volume for the aficionado and the casual fan alike, Issue Two brings together an international community for a hearty nod to three of our finest living artists.

YES.

And for those of you unfamiliar with this well-curated, well-produced, well-edited journal, you should get yourself familiarized:

Music & Literature is a charitable organization dedicated to publishing excellent literature on and by under-appreciated artists from around the world. Founded to confront the growing need for serious long form criticism on the arts in the English-speaking world and provide a forum for critics and artists, Music & Literature is published twice per year, with each in-depth issue exploring the work of 3-4 featured artists. Each issue is roughly 200 pages in length and contains at least 15 new critical essays and first-time translations of articles; new interviews with the featured artists; when possible, previously unpublished manuscripts, scores, correspondence, and other archived materials obtained through collaboration with cultural institutions and artists’ estates; and, where appropriate, reproductions of seminal critical texts. Published in both digital and print editions, issues of Music & Literature are unique objects designed to meet the immediate needs of modern readers while enduring and becoming permanent resources for future generations of readers, scholars, and artists. Currently, no comparable magazine exists in English.

The debut issue of Music & Literature, now available, features new work on and by Hubert Selby, Jr., Micheline Aharonian Marcom, and Arvo Pärt, and is produced in collaboration with Pacifica Radio Archives and the International Arvo Pärt Centre.

Buy it! Buy it all!

20 August 12 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Sales rep superstar and international literature enthusiast George Carroll just posted a “destination guide” at NW Book Lovers that highlights a number of great presses, organizations, and books worth checking out.

Many of these—like Three Percent, New Directions, the Center for the Art of Translation—you’re probably already familiar with, but it’s always fun to see someone else talking about your books and/or the reasons for reading international literature in the first place.

There’s an opinion in publishing that literature in translation doesn’t sell— that the books are dense and unapproachable, and that Americans won’t read authors whose names we can’t pronounce. Norman Manea (The Lair, Yale Margellos) says books in translation are thought to be “too ‘complicated,’ which is another way of saying that literature should deal with simple issues in a simple way.”

Haruki Murakami once said, “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” If that’s true, people who read international literature are true iconoclasts. Only about three percent of all books published in the United States are works in translation. In terms of literary fiction and poetry, that number drops below one percent. And mainstream reviewers ignore most of the books that make it through the translation process into print.

I also want to point out that his three recommendations—Satantango by Laszlo Krashnahorkai, Maidenhair by Mikhail Shishkin, and Almost Never by Daniel Sada—are three of my favorite books from 2012 . . .

....
Miruna, a Tale
Miruna, a Tale by Bogdan Suceavă
Reviewed by Alta Ifland

Miruna is a novella written in the voice of an adult who remembers the summer he (then, seven) and his sister, Miruna (then, six) spent in the Evil Vale with their grandfather (sometimes referred to as “Grandfather,” other times as. . .

Read More >

Kamal Jann
Kamal Jann by Dominique Eddé
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

Kamal Jann by the Lebanese born author Dominique Eddé is a tale of familial and political intrigue, a murky stew of byzantine alliances, betrayals, and hostilities. It is a well-told story of revenge and, what’s more, a serious novel that. . .

Read More >

I Called Him Necktie
I Called Him Necktie by Milena Michiko Flašar
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

While looking back at an episode in his life, twenty-year-old Taguchi Hiro remembers what his friend Kumamoto Akira said about poetry.

Its perfection arises precisely from its imperfection . . . . I have an image in my head. I see. . .

Read More >

Return to Killybegs
Return to Killybegs by Sorj Chalandon
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

The central concern of Sorj Chalandon’s novel Return to Killybegs appears to be explaining how a person of staunch political activism can be lead to betray his cause, his country, his people. Truth be told, the real theme of the. . .

Read More >

The Last Days
The Last Days by Laurent Seksik
Reviewed by Peter Biellp

Spoiler alert: acclaimed writer Stefan Zweig and his wife Lotte kill themselves at the end of Lauren Seksik’s 2010 novel, The Last Days.

It’s hard to avoid spoiling this mystery. Zweig’s suicide actually happened, in Brazil in 1942, and since then. . .

Read More >

Selected Stories
Selected Stories by Kjell Askildsen
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

To call Kjell Askildsen’s style sparse or terse would be to understate just how far he pushes his prose. Almost nothing is explained, elaborated on. In simple sentences, events occur, words are exchanged, narrators have brief thoughts. As often as. . .

Read More >

Letter from an Unknown Woman and Other Stories
Letter from an Unknown Woman and Other Stories by Stefan Zweig
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

After a mysterious woman confesses to an author simply known as “R” that she has loved him since she was a teenager, she offers the following explanation: “There is nothing on earth like the love of a child that passes. . .

Read More >