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essays and first-time translations of articles; new interviews with the featured artists; when possible, previously unpublished manuscripts, scores, correspondence, and other archived materials obtained through collaboration with cultural institutions and artists’ estates; and, where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 Nightwatches of Bonaventura
The Nightwatches of Bonaventura by Bonaventura
Reviewed by J. T. Mahany

Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .

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Pavane for a Dead Princess
Pavane for a Dead Princess by Park Min-Gyu
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .

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Tram 83
Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila
Reviewed by Caitlin Thomas

Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .

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Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic by Octave Mirbeau
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .

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Sphinx
Sphinx by Anne Garréta
Reviewed by Monica Carter

Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .

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Morse, My Deaf Friend
Morse, My Deaf Friend by Miloš Djurdjević
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in Morse, My Deaf Friend— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .

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The Crimson Thread of Abandon
The Crimson Thread of Abandon by Terayama Shūji
Reviewed by Robert Anthony Siegel

The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .

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