For those of you who haven’t yet seen the Facebook posts and re-posts, we are thrilled (and grateful) that Open Letter has once again received an Arts Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The grant awarded to the press for 2015 was one of the largest awarded this year.
From the press release published by the University of Rochester:
“The $60,000 grant will support the publication and promotion of several books in 2015, including Rochester Knockings, a novel based on the Rochester-based religious movement of Spiritualism and the famous Fox Sisters.
‘We’re extremely grateful to the NEA for this generous award,’ said Open Letter Publisher Chad W. Post. ‘To be awarded the third largest grant in the literature category is one of the highest honors a nonprofit publisher can receive. But even more importantly is that this award allows us to introduce English readers to six amazing new books.’
The press was one of 55 organizations to receive a grant in this year’s literature category. In 2014, the NEA received more than 1,400 applications for Arts Works grants, requesting more than $75 million in funding.
. . .
In addition to supporting the publication of Rochester Knockings (translated by Jennifer Grotz, associate professor of English at Rochester), the grant will support the publication of five additional books: Post-Exoticism in Ten Lessons, Lesson Eleven (translated by J.T. Mahany ’13); Traces of Time; Rock, Paper, Scissors; So Much, So Much War; and Loquela (translated by Will Vanderhyden ’13).”
For the full release and more information, go here.
For more information on the NEA and its work, go here.
This is for all the CNY folks: Paul Auster will be on campus on September 30th to give a George H. Ford Lecture on “Fiction and Translation.” This event is being co-sponsored by the George H. Ford Lecture Fund, the Department of English, and the Reading the World Conversation Series.
Very cool opportunity to see Auster in an intimate setting (if you consider a room that seats 150 people to be intimate), and I’m sure he’ll have a lot of interesting things to say about translation. He’s always been a big advocate of French—and world—literature, and has published a number of translations, including pieces by Edmond Jabes, Pierre Clastres, Jacques Dupin, and others. (The complete list is available here.)
The event will take place from 5-6 on Thursday, September 30th in the Hawkins-Carlson Room in the Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester’s campus. Should be cool, should be crowded. I recommend getting there early, since there’s no ticketing process . . .
With our Politics of Translation event coming up next Monday, this seems like a good time to post the video of a different event that we hosted last fall.
As part of the Reading the World Conversation Series, this “Translators’ Roundtable” brought together four literary translators—who work in a variety of languages and genres—to discuss their experiences. The conversation explored a number of different topics, from how they got started as translators, to the obstacles of retranslating classic works, to translating film scripts during the writers’ strike, etc.
In attendance were Michael Emmerich, Edward Gauvin, Marian Schwartz, and Martha Tennent. There’s a lot of brilliant discussion here—one of my favorite points coming from Michael who makes a case to those who lean on the phrase “Lost in Translation” that it is, instead, and “100% gain.”
Beginning this fall semester (which is literally upon us), undergraduates at the University of Rochester will be able to receive a Certificate in Literary Translation Studies. This info has been at the bottom of the page since we went live, but for anyone interested, we now have PDFs of the requirements and application form.
John Michael (email@example.com) is the CLTS advisor, so please feel free to contact him with any questions.
Information about graduate-level programs will be available later this year.
The last five days of the eleventh-century Icelandic politician, writer of sagas, and famous murder victim Snorri Sturleleson (the Norwegian spelling, Snorre, is preserved in the book) make up Thorvald Steen’s most recently translated historical fiction, The Little Horse. Murdered. . .
We all know Paris, or at least we think we know it. The Eiffel Tower. The Latin Quarter. The Champs-Élysées. The touristy stuff. In Dominique Fabre’s novel, Guys Like Me, we’re shown a different side of Paris: a gray, decaying. . .
One hundred pages into Birth of a Bridge, the prize-winning novel from French writer Maylis de Kerangal, the narrator describes how starting in November, birds come to nest in the wetlands of the fictional city of Coca, California, for three. . .
At 30, the Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is already gathering her rosebuds. Faces in the Crowd, her poised debut novel, was published by Coffee House Press, along with her Brodsky-infused essay collection, Sidewalks. The essays stand as a theoretical map. . .
Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia (narrated by Julio Cortázar) is, not disappointingly, as wild a book as its title suggests. It is a half-novella half-graphic novel story about . . . what, exactly? A European tribunal, Latin. . .
Marie NDiaye has created a tiny, psychological masterpiece with her Self-Portrait in Green. In it she explores how our private fears and insecurities can distort what we believe to be real and can cause us to sabotage our intimate relationships.. . .
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. . .