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.
Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli. . .
Even though the latest from Jean Echenoz is only a thin volume containing seven of what he calls “little literary objects,” it is packed with surprises. In these pieces, things happen below the surface, sometimes both literally and figuratively. As. . .
Who is this woman? This is the question that opens Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a novel of colonial-era Shanghai’s spies and revolutionaries, police and smugglers, who scoot between doorways, walk nonchalantly down avenues, smoke cigars in police bureaus, and lounge. . .
For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love.. . .
Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
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. . .
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. . .