This month the Guardian World Literature Tour focuses on Ireland. Here’s their summary of how the tour works:
And, as it’s been a while since the tour last stopped by, here’s a quick reminder of how it works. It goes like this: every few weeks we post asking for suggestions of the best books and authors from a particular country, as well as nominations for the country we should visit next. Ideally we’d like fiction written by native authors which is available in translation (or which you think ought to be) – but nominations of books set in the country in question that provide a flavour of the place, or good history or travel books, are also welcome.
It’s an interesting forum to learn about new authors and books from various countries, and can get quite lively. (For instance, in one day there are already 107 comments on Irish lit . . .)
This is actually the second incarnation of the World Tour, info on the first (which included “stops” in Iceland, Brazil, Japan, Turkey, Canada, Czech Republic, Poland, and Finland) can be found here. Info on the “newly relaunched” version is available here and includes New Zealand and Nigeria.
Sure, some of the forums get bogged down in talking about the famous writers/books we all already know, but still, this is a cool thing for a paper to do. Another reason why The Guardian outshines all American papers . . .
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. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .
Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
“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. . .