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 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
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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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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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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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