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.


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essays and first-time translations of articles; new interviews with the featured artists; when possible, previously unpublished manuscripts, scores, correspondence, and other archived materials obtained through collaboration with cultural institutions and artists’ estates; and, where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

Rambling Jack
Rambling Jack by Micheál Ó Conghaile
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

“Rambling Jack—what’s that?”
“A novel. Novella, I guess.”
“Yeah, it looks short. What is it, a hundred pages?”
“Sorta. It’s a duel language book, so really, only about… 50 pages total.”
“50 pages?”
“Including illustrations.”
“And this—what. . .

Read More >

The Things We Don't Do
The Things We Don't Do by Andrés Neuman
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Many authors are compared to Roberto Bolaño. However, very few authors have the privilege of having a Roberto Bolaño quote on the cover of their work; and at that, one which states, “Good readers will find something that can be. . .

Read More >

Private Life
Private Life by Josep Maria de Sagarra
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

In Josep Maria de Sagarra’s Private Life, a man harangues his friend about literature while walking through Barcelona at night:

When a novel states a fact that ties into another fact and another and another, as the chain goes on. . .

Read More >

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 >