23 August 11 | Chad W. Post |

For this week’s podcast, Tom and I answered our first mailbag question about literary journals, discussed the old adage that “short stories don’t sell,” and complained about the unbeatable Milwaukee Brewers.

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17 June 10 | E.J. Van Lanen | Comments

In our fifty-first year of publication, the editors of the Massachusetts Review plan to dramatically increase the amount of fiction, poetry, and socially-engaged nonfiction they publish in translation. Today, we see a great need for literary journals to internationalize—to open their ears and their pages to voices from outside the United States, and to writers in languages other than English. MR believes we have a real opportunity for synergy with friends and colleagues from local institutions, given the strength of the University of Massachusetts Amherst programs in translation, of the locally-based translation studies journal Metamorphoses, as well as of the American Studies Diploma Program at Smith College (a one-year graduate program exclusively for international students). But we will of course need the help of readers, colleagues, and translators from across the globe. To that end, we announce the Jules Chametzky Prize for Literary Translation.

The Jules Chametzky Prize in Literary Translation, sponsored by the Massachusetts Review, will be awarded annually to the best poem and prose translations published within our pages in a Volume year. Judges for the award will be MR’s translation editors, Ellen Watson and Edwin Gentzler, along with an additional third judge, chosen yearly from the local pool of translation experts. MR editors are not eligbile for the prize. Once a decision has been made, the writers in both categories will be contacted directly. The prize will award $500 each for the best poetry and prose translations to appear in MR’s pages in a Volume year. There is no entry fee; all submissions must be adhere to our general guidelines, which you will find here. A copy of the translated text should be submitted along with the translation.

To put it simply, our goal is to publish great writing from across the globe, from writers we haven’t yet heard.

They’re accepting submissions starting October 1st…

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The Cold Song
The Cold Song by Linn Ullmann
Reviewed by David Richardson

Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .

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This Life
This Life by Karel Schoeman
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .

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A Dilemma
A Dilemma by Joris-Karl Hyusmans
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .

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Walker on Water
Walker on Water by Kristiina Ehin
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .

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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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