The December Issue of the Frankfurt Book Fair Newsletter is now available online and includes a number of interesting pieces.
The article on the 10th Anniversary of the German Book Office, which highlights the difficulties of getting German titles published in English translation and the job the GBO is doing to make this happen is interesting if for nothing else than Lorin Stein’s quote that “In America the market for translated literature is—almost without exception—the most sophisticated readership we have.”
The article on creating networks of young publishers focuses on the Society of Young Publishers and the German young publishers groups and the desire to create a large “international network for young publishers—from Iceland to the Arab world.” According to this piece there will be an exploratory meeting at this year’s London Book Fair and BookExpo America, with a first event to take place at next fall’s Frankfurt Book Fair.
With my obsession about the future of publishing though, the thing that really caught my eye is this ongoing series about the future of the industry around the world. Right now there are pieces from the U.S., China, Germany, South Africa, and the Arab World, and there are more in the works for future newsletters. I’m a big fan of this series, especially since each entry/region is pretty distinct in its approach and thoughts about the future. A series definitely worth checking out and keeping an eye on.
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. . .
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. . .