This is a bit of an interlude post in the series. I don’t have a picture of Charlotte—she wasn’t at the ALTA conference—so I’m hardly following through on the “visible” aspect of these entries, but after writing about the “most published translators” of the past few years, it was brought to my attention that Charlotte Mandell should basically top this list.
Which is true. Over the past two years, she’s translated:
Abdelwahab Meddeb, Tombeau of Ibn Arabi and White Traverses, with an afterword by Jean-Luc Nancy. (Fordham University Press, 2009)
Jean-Luc Nancy, The Fall of Sleep. (Fordham University Press, 2009)
Jonathan Littell, The Kindly Ones. (HarperCollins, 2009)
Pierre Bayard, Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong: Reopening the Case of the Hound of the Baskervilles. (Bloomsbury, 2008)
Jean Paulhan, On Poetry and Politics (co-translated with Jennifer Bajorek and Eric Trudel). (University of Illinois Press, 2008)
Marcel Proust, The Lemoine Affair. (Melville House, 2008)
Peter Szendy, Listen: A History of Our Ears. (Fordham University Press, 2008)
Pierre Birnbaum, Geography of Hope. (Stanford University Press, 2008)
Honoré de Balzac, The Girl with the Golden Eyes. (Melville House, 2008)
Mathias Enard, Zone. (Open Letter, 2010)
Which is phenomenal, impressive, Herculean even. Just in terms of total pages, this is impressive (Zone’s a long book, but not nearly as long as The Kindly Ones), but in terms of overall quality, difficulty of the texts, etc., this is an incredible feat.
And just to explain: The reason Charlotte didn’t pop up on the list yesterday is because a number of these are works of nonfiction, which aren’t logged into our database. I wish we could track nonfiction to, but we’re only three people (and honestly, I’m the only one who enters stuff into the database), who also have to run a publishing house, write grants, sell books, teach interns, etc., etc. But one day! One day when we receive a healthy-sized grant from a progressive foundation/individual/government organization who realizes the true value of this study, we’ll be able to add on nonfiction, kids books, graphic novels . . . And go back in time so that we can better identify translation/publication trends. So if you know anyone with a little extra money . . .
Anyway, since I can’t make her visible with an ALTA pic, instead I’ll just repost this video of a conversation between Charlotte and E.J. VanLanen that took place here in Rochester a couple months ago and features a very odd moment of chair theft:
And Charlotte—keep up the amazing work!
César Aira dishes up an imaginative parable on how identity shapes our sense of belonging with Dinner, his latest release in English. Aira’s narrator (who, appropriately, remains nameless) is a self-pitying, bitter man—in his late fifties, living again with. . .
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. . .