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essays and first-time translations of articles; new interviews with the featured artists; when possible, previously unpublished manuscripts, scores, correspondence, and other archived materials obtained through collaboration with cultural institutions and artists’ estates; and, where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 . . .

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The Truce
The Truce by Mario Benedetti
Reviewed by Adrianne Aron

Mario Benedetti (1920-2009), Uruguay’s most beloved writer, was a man who loved to bend the rules. He gave his haikus as many syllables as fit his mood, and wrote a play divided into sections instead of acts. In his country,. . .

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I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World
I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World by Kim Kyung Ju
Reviewed by Jacob Rogers

Kim Kyung Ju’s I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World, translated from the Korean by Jake Levine, is a wonderful absurdist poetry collection. It’s a mix of verse and prose poems, or even poems in the. . .

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Kingdom Cons
Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera
Reviewed by Sarah Booker

Yuri Herrera is overwhelming in the way that he sucks readers into his worlds, transporting them to a borderland that is at once mythical in its construction and powerfully recognizable as a reflection of its modern-day counterpart. Kingdom Cons, originally. . .

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The Invented Part
The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Imagine reading a work that suddenly and very accurately calls out you, the reader, for not providing your full attention to the act of reading. Imagine how embarrassing it is when you, the reader, believe that you are engrossed in. . .

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A Simple Story: The Last Malambo
A Simple Story: The Last Malambo by Leila Guerriero
Reviewed by Emilee Brecht

Leila Guerriero’s A Simple Story: The Last Malambo chronicles the unique ferocity of a national dance competition in Argentina. The dance, called the malambo, pushes the physical and mental limits of male competitors striving to become champions of not only. . .

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The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof
The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof by Cesar Aira
Reviewed by Will Eells

Aira continues to surprise and delight in his latest release from New Directions, which collects two novellas: the first, The Little Buddhist Monk, a fairly recent work from 2005, and The Proof, an earlier work from 1989. There are a. . .

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Agnes
Agnes by Peter Stamm
Reviewed by Dorian Stuber

The narrator of Peter Stamm’s first novel, Agnes, originally published in 1998 and now available in the U.S. in an able translation by Michael Hofmann, is a young Swiss writer who has come to Chicago to research a book on. . .

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