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.
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essays and first-time translations of articles; new interviews with the featured artists; when possible, previously unpublished manuscripts, scores, correspondence, and other archived materials obtained through collaboration with cultural institutions and artists’ estates; and, where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!
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 . . .
The last five days of the eleventh-century Icelandic politician, writer of sagas, and famous murder victim Snorri Sturleleson (the Norwegian spelling, Snorre, is preserved in the book) make up Thorvald Steen’s most recently translated historical fiction, The Little Horse. Murdered. . .
We all know Paris, or at least we think we know it. The Eiffel Tower. The Latin Quarter. The Champs-Élysées. The touristy stuff. In Dominique Fabre’s novel, Guys Like Me, we’re shown a different side of Paris: a gray, decaying. . .
One hundred pages into Birth of a Bridge, the prize-winning novel from French writer Maylis de Kerangal, the narrator describes how starting in November, birds come to nest in the wetlands of the fictional city of Coca, California, for three. . .
At 30, the Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is already gathering her rosebuds. Faces in the Crowd, her poised debut novel, was published by Coffee House Press, along with her Brodsky-infused essay collection, Sidewalks. The essays stand as a theoretical map. . .
Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia (narrated by Julio Cortázar) is, not disappointingly, as wild a book as its title suggests. It is a half-novella half-graphic novel story about . . . what, exactly? A European tribunal, Latin. . .
Marie NDiaye has created a tiny, psychological masterpiece with her Self-Portrait in Green. In it she explores how our private fears and insecurities can distort what we believe to be real and can cause us to sabotage our intimate relationships.. . .
Reading a genre book—whether fantasy, science fiction, crime, thriller, etc.—which begins to seem excessively, stereotypically bad, I have to make sure to ask myself: is this parodying the flaws of the genre? Usually, this questioning takes its time coming. In. . .