Our events calendar is a bit empty right now (if you’re hosting—or attending—any interesting events related to international literature, please e-mail us so that we can include it on that calendar to the right . . ), but there are a number of interesting events coming up that might be of interest.
Following up on the last post about Natasha Wimmer, she’s actually doing two events next month in San Francisco for the Center for the Art of Translation. On October 6, she’d doing a Lit&Lunch event called “Translating a Latin American Superstar” and revolving around Roberto Bolano, and on October 7th, she’lll discuss Bolano with novelist Daniel Alarcón.
On the same two days but on the opposite coast, the Polish Cultural Institute (and a slew of partners, including Words Without Borders) are putting on series of events under the title “After Kapuscinski: The Art of Reportage in the 21st Century.” Participants include Anna Bikont, Ted Conover, Philip Gourevitch, Eliza Griswold, Wojciech Jagielski, Alistair Reid, Pawel Smolenski, Lawrence Weschler, and many others. Full event listings can be found here but all three panels will take place in the evening at NYU’s Hemmerdinger Hall.
Finally, this is a bit further off, but on November 6th, the Ramon Llull Institut is putting on a colloquium entitled “Standing in the Shadows: Catalan Literature and English Translation.” Admission is by invite only, but if you’re lucky enough to be invited (or interested enough to beg for an invite), it looks to be pretty interesting. Mary Ann Caws, Lyn Hejinian, Francesc Parcerisas, Carlin Romano, Jill Schoolman, will all be participating.
Prose translators will likely disagree, but I believe translating poetry requires a significant level of talent, a commitment to the text, and near mania, all of which suggests that the undertaking is the greatest possible challenge. The task is to. . .
The biggest issues with books like The Subsidiary often have to do with their underpinnings—when we learn that Georges Perec wrote La Disparition without once using the letter E, we are impressed. Imagine such a task! It takes a high. . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .