9 March 09 | Chad W. Post

The Observer Translation Project is a relatively new website featuring news, reviews, and samples from and about Romanian authors. From the About Us page:

We highlight a “pilot” author each month. This is the place to learn about Romanian writers, find updates on Romanian writing abroad, read CV’s, take a look at covers published in countries around the globe, check out the bibliographies, dip into author photos, search our steadily growing archive, and discover essays that put Romanian writing in context. Look for single author fiction issues every month, with free-wheeling updates in between. OTP translates into English, Dutch French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish, with room for guest languages on board.

And this month’s feature author is Ştefan Agopian, whose work is described as follows:

Agopian’s novels and short fiction build a world in which the real illuminates the imaginary and where the opposite is equally true. It’s no accident that the most frequently heard remark in Agopian’s world—“I don’t know; I imagine“—reverberates on political, historical and metaphysical plane. In Agopian-land, the denizens of a place much like 19th Century Romania inhabit a zone recognizable to Western readers as a desperate Wonderland where Borges and Pynchon would feel at home. In this mind-space anyone is free to conclude that “even if the facts aren’t true, that really has no importance.”

Overall, there’s a healthy amount of information available on this site, including samples from a host of authors, a list of forthcoming translations from the Romanian, synopses of a number of Romanian books, and reviews/essays.

Definitely worth checking out, both for the features listed above and for the blog, which tracks information about Romanian literature.


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The Antiquarian
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This pearl from New Directions contains one short story from Russian literary master Fyodor Dostoevsky (translated by Constance Garnett) and one short story from Uruguayan forefather of magical realism Felisberto Hernández (translated by Esther Allen). Both pieces are entitled “The. . .

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