30 March 15 | Chad W. Post | Comments

If you happen to live in Rochester, or would like to visit and check our Open Letter and/or the University of Rochester’s Literary Translation Programs, I HIGHLY encourage you to come out this Thursday for one of the most star-studded translation events we’ve ever put together.

In honor of The Man Between: Michael Henry Heim & A Life in Translation, the three editors of this volume—Esther Allen, Sean Cotter, and Russell Scott Valentino—are coming to town to talk about Heim and his lasting influence on a variety of aspects of the field of literary translation.

Esther, Sean, and Russell (all of whom are greatly respected for their own personal translations) did an amazing job putting this book together, creating a volume that’s both a homage to one of the most important literary figures of the twentieth century and a book that adds a lot to translation studies. The essays in this book—from a variety of contributors, including Dubrakva Ugresic, Celia Hawkesworth, Rosanna Warren, Maureen Freely, Alex Zucker, Breon Mitchell, and more—are by turns engaging, heartbreaking, brilliant, and intellectually stimulating.

I’ll be moderating this panel, and there will be a reception to follow.

So, if you’re in the area, here are the specifics

RTWCS: Michael Henry Heim & A Life in Translation
Thursday, April 2nd at 5:00pm
Welles-Brown Room in Rush Rhees Library (755 Library Road at the U of R)

Hope to see you there!

9 December 14 | Kaija Straumanis | Comments

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.

15 September 10 | Chad W. Post | Comments

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 . . .

17 March 09 | N. J. Furl | Comments

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.”


Translators’ Roundtable from Open Letter Books on Vimeo.

23 August 07 | Chad W. Post | Comments

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 (john.michael@rochester.edu) 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.

....
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. . .

Read More >

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. . .

Read More >

Life Embitters
Life Embitters by Josep Pla
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Last year, NYRB Classics introduced English-language readers to Catalan writer Josep Pla with Peter Bush’s translation of The Gray Notebook. In that book, Pla wrote about life in Spain during an influenza outbreak soon after World War I, when. . .

Read More >

The Physics of Sorrow
The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov
Reviewed by Izidora Angel

“Your bile is stagnant, you see sorrow in everything, you are drenched in melancholy,” my friend the doctor said.
bq. “Isn’t melancholy something from previous centuries? Isn’t some vaccine against it yet, hasn’t medicine taken care of it yet?” I. . .

Read More >

Vano and Niko
Vano and Niko by Erlom Akhvlediani
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

What to make of Vano and Niko, the English translation of Erlom Akhvlediani’s work of the same name, as well as the two other short books that comprise a sort of trilogy? Quick searches will inform the curious reader that. . .

Read More >

The Indian
The Indian by Jón Gnarr
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

The opening of Jón Gnarr’s novel/memoir The Indian is a playful bit of extravagant ego, telling the traditional story of creation, where the “Let there be light!” moment is also the moment of his birth on January 2nd, 1967. Then. . .

Read More >

Mother of 1084; Old Women; Breast Stories
Mother of 1084; Old Women; Breast Stories by Mahasweta Devi
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Mahasweta Devi is not only one of the most prolific Bengali authors, but she’s also an important activist. In fact, for Devi, the two seem to go together. As you can probably tell from the titles, she writes about women. . .

Read More >