Because I wrote for the Frankfurt Book Fair blog and newsletter, and because yes, I did stay out too late at the Frankfurter Hof and elsewhere, and because the Sportschule (a great place to stay, if not a bit Spartan) has some serious internet difficulties, I really didn’t have a chance to write my usual gossipy, personal posts from Frankfurt. And there’s really no way to go back and recapture the frenetic insanity that is the Frankfurt Book Fair.
(I have to say, one of the big things I’ve noticed upon returning is just how quiet life can be. Not a single person spoke on the bus this morning, and the only thing I heard was a tinny voice from the radio: “. . . bring his liberal values to Congress . . .” The FBF is aflame with noise. Everywhere.)
So instead of writing about the parties and whatnot, over the course of the day I’m going to link to all the posts I wrote for the FBF blog and some of the ones that Edward Nawotka and Andrew Wilkins wrote. (They did a ton more posts than I did.)
It’s not hard to pick up on the evolution of my posts from the FBF . . . They start out as journalistic as I can possibly write and sort of d/evolve into the typical 3P sort of post.
And as I sort through the four bags (seriously, my wrists can attest to the fact that this isn’t an exaggeration) of materials we brought back, I’ll write up the more interesting items.
“I preferred the war to the plague,” writes Curzio Malaparte in his 1949 novel, The Skin. He speaks of World War II and the destruction it has wrought on Italy, the city of Naples in particular. But the plague he. . .
With the steady rise of feminist scholarship and criticism in recent decades, it is little wonder that the work of Louise Labé should be attracting, as Richard Sieburth tells us in the Afterword to his translation, a “wide and thriving”. . .
In Conversations, we find ourselves again in the protagonist’s conscious and subconscious, which is mostly likely that of Mr. César Aira and consistent with prototypical Aira style. This style never fails because each time Aira is able to develop a. . .
You are not ashamed of what you do, but of what they see you do. Without realizing it, life can be an accumulation of secrets that permeates every last minute of our routine . . .
The narrative history of. . .
Literature in translation often comes with a certain pedigree. In this little corner of the world, with so few books making it into this comforting nook, it is often those of the highest quality that cross through, and attention is. . .
Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn is a set of two loosely interlinked novellas that play with narrative and the construction of character. Ably translated by Ann Goldstein, Mr. Gwyn plays some subtle metafictional games as Baricco delves into what it means. . .
I must admit upfront that I went into reading Saadat Hasan Manto’s Bombay Stories almost entirely blind. I have not read Salman Rushdie. I have read, perhaps, two short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. I might shamefully add that I really. . .
Throughout his work The Gray Notebook, Josep Pla mentions many different authors, some of whom have inspired him to pick up a pen. One of them is Marcel Proust. Even though Pla normally prefers nonfiction, he lauds the French novelist. . .
On that September 11th I had a conversation with a professor friend who was teaching a creative writing class that evening. He questioned, “What can I possibly teach when all of this has happened?” While the dismay and grief were. . .
In a story of two emotionally distant people, Japanese author Takashi Hiraide expertly evokes powerful feelings of love, loss, and friendship in his novel The Guest Cat. The life of the unnamed narrator and his wife, both writers, is calm. . .