15 July 13 | Chad W. Post | Comments

The 2013 Susan Sontag Prize for Translation was just announced, with Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody receiving this year’s honors for his translation of Benjamin Fondane’s Ulysse.

Not much info up on the Sontag site yet, although I think this literally just went online. (I’ve been refreshing that page like a crack addict in hopes the U of R student and Volodine translator J.T. Mahany would win . . . )

Anyway, the Center for the Art of Translation/Two Lines has a bit of Ulysse available on their website:

The world opens within us at the view of ships
departing—they depart with their hair in the wind
returning—they return old and decrepit
in the dance of lights,
in the farewell revels of ports
like invalids
seated while everyone dances.

And here’s a bit of info about the author and translator:

Benjamin Fondane (1893-1944) published poems, translations and criticism in his native Romania before moving to Paris in 1923. After devoting seven years to perfecting his French, he resumed his literary activity in that language. His works include the long poems Ulysses (1933), Titanic (1937), and Exodus, and The Sorrows of Ghosts (both posthumous), as well as works of criticism on Baudelaire, Rimbaud and his mentor, the philosopher Lev Chestov.

Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody lives in Brussels, where he works as a programmer in digital publishing. He studied math in Chicago and medieval literature in Poitiers and Paris. He has published translations of Benjamin Fondane and an article on the philosophy of sailing.

Congrats to Nathaniel and everyone who entered.

10 September 08 | Chad W. Post | Comments

The Susan Sontag Foundation recently released information about their 2009 translation prize, this time awarding young translators working on Spanish into English projects:

This $5,000 grant will be awarded to a proposed work of literary translation from Spanish into English and is open to anyone under the age of 30. The translation must fall under the category of fiction or letters, and the applicant will propose his or her own translation project. The project should be manageable for a five-month period of work, as the grant will be awarded in May 2009, and the translation must be completed by October 2009.

I think this is a really cool prize, and was very impressed with the work the 2008 winners (Kristin Dickinson, Robin Ellis, and Priscilla Layne) did on Koppstoff: Kanaka Sprak vom Rande der Gesellschaft by Feridun Zaimoglu.

There’s still plenty of time for any and all young translators out there to apply. And even if you’re not applying, you should definitely check out the redesigned website—it looks really slick.

4 September 07 | Chad W. Post | Comments

I just found out about this (literally), but for any undergrad or graduate translators from German under the age of 30, here’s some info on the 2008 Susan Sontag Prize for Translation.

This $5,000 prize will commission a work of literary translation by a university undergraduate or graduate student under the age of 30. The translation must be written from German into English, and must be a work of contemporary fiction by a living German writer. The translation must fall under the category of fiction or letters. The student will propose his or her own translation project; acceptable proposals include a novella, a play, a collection of short stories or poems, or a collection of letters that have literary import. The project should be manageable for a five-month period of work; the commission will be granted in May 2008, and the translation must be completed by October 2008.

Visit the Susan Sontag site for more info. (BTW: I assume the January 30, 2007 deadline is just a typo.)

And feel contact me if you think Open Letter might be interested in your project . . .

....
The Madmen of Benghazi
The Madmen of Benghazi by Gerard de Villiers
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

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. . .

Read More >

The Four Corners of Palermo
The Four Corners of Palermo by Giuseppe Di Piazza
Reviewed by Patience Haggin

The Sicilian Mafia has always been a rich subject for sensational crime fiction. The Godfather, Goodfellas, and The Sopranos worked the mob’s bloody corpses and family feuds to both entertainment and artistic value. Giuseppe di Piazza’s debut novel attempts this,. . .

Read More >

Writers
Writers by Antoine Volodine
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

Antoine Volodine’s vast project (40 plus novels) of what he calls the post-exotic remains mostly untranslated, so for many of us, understanding it remains touched with mystery, whispers from those “who know,” and guesswork. That’s not to say that, were. . .

Read More >

My Brilliant Friend
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Reviewed by Acacia O'Connor

It hasn’t quite neared the pitch of the waiting-in-line-at-midnight Harry Potter days, but in small bookstores and reading circles of New York City, an aura has attended the novelist Elena Ferrante and her works. One part curiosity (Who is she?),. . .

Read More >

Stealth
Stealth by Sonallah Ibrahim
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

From the late 1940s to the early 1950s, Egypt was going through a period of transition. The country’s people were growing unhappy with the corruption of power in the government, which had been under British rule for decades. The Egyptians’. . .

Read More >

Miruna, a Tale
Miruna, a Tale by Bogdan Suceavă
Reviewed by Alta Ifland

Miruna is a novella written in the voice of an adult who remembers the summer he (then, seven) and his sister, Miruna (then, six) spent in the Evil Vale with their grandfather (sometimes referred to as “Grandfather,” other times as. . .

Read More >

Kamal Jann
Kamal Jann by Dominique Eddé
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

Kamal Jann by the Lebanese born author Dominique Eddé is a tale of familial and political intrigue, a murky stew of byzantine alliances, betrayals, and hostilities. It is a well-told story of revenge and, what’s more, a serious novel that. . .

Read More >