It’s been a couple months since I last posted an update to the 2008 Translation Database, and since we have added a number of titles (thanks as always to Michael Orthofer, PW, and all the publishers who send us copies of their catalogs) it seemed like a good time to post an updated Excel file.
The Excel file linked to above is a bit different from the ones I posted in the past. It still contains all the information about every original translation of adult fiction and poetry coming out this year (excluding all reprints and retranslations) and breaks this info down by publisher, language, and country.
This time I added a few spreadsheets though, sorting the data by month and genre (fiction vs. poetry), and breaking down the publishers into top publishers of fiction and top publishers of poetry.
Looking at the breakdown by month, it’s interesting to note that almost every month falls into the 25-30 title range, the major exceptions being April (38, due in part to National Poetry Month and the rush to bring out all books of poetry then), and July and August (15 and 14 respectively, hopefully because summer publishing schedules are slow and not because I missed a bunch of books). Using that 25-30 range as a basis, I’m guessing that I’m missing approximately 20 December titles and that I wouldn’t be surprised if the final count of translations published in 2008 is closer to 325 that the 400 I predicted early on.
At the moment, almost 20% of all the translations published are works of poetry (most of which are published by Green Integer, Copper Canyon, FSG, Ugly Duckling Presse, and Zephyr).
Looking at this breakdown between fiction and poetry, and the overall low number of translations being published, it seems almost possible that one could read all original translations as they come out . . . I personally couldn’t do this, but I can envision someone reading basically a book a day for a year and reading all the new translations.
As always if you see anything missing from the master list, please let me know and I’ll add it right away.
The biggest issues with books like The Subsidiary often have to do with their underpinnings—when we learn that Georges Perec wrote La Disparition without once using the letter E, we are impressed. Imagine such a task! It takes a high. . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .
It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret is in a hospital waiting for the birth of his first child while nurses, in. . .