A new month and a new Reading the World Podcast, this time with Suzanne Jill Levine, famed translator (of Three Trapped Tigers, of Heartbreak Tango, of dozens of other wonderful books) and author of the very influential The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction.
We recorded this back at MLA in December (in a bitterly cold Philadelphia—which seems WEIRD given the fact that it’s frickin’ 70+ degrees in CNY right now), where the focus was translation and Jill talked a lot about the then forthcoming Borges series that she had edited for Penguin Classics. (With the help of the very cool John Siciliano.)
Anyway, the first two volumes of the Borges series are now available: Poems of the Night and The Sonnets. And galleys for the last three books—On Mysticism, On Writing, and On Argentina—recently arrived in the mail. I’m planning on reviewing these three, starting with “Mysticism,” which has been on my mind a lot of late. (Aided by my recent PKD bender. And obsession with Lost)
We talk a bit about this special Borges series during the podcast, but for more info, check my post from this past December.
Double admission: I rarely, if ever, listen to anything I’m involved in, or read anything written about me. But I just listened to this, and holy shit, it’s even more incredible than I imagined possible. (And I don’t sound like a complete ass! Sweet!)
So, please, please listen, let me know what you think, and if you can, subscribe on iTunes and give us a review. (This link goes directly to the iTunes RTW Podcast page.) And pass this along to any and everyone you know. We really want to spread the word about these before starting the second (and third) rounds of taping . . .
Pedro Zarraluki’s The History of Silence (trans. Nick Caistor and Lorenza García) begins with the narrator and his wife, Irene, setting out to write a book about silence, itself called The History of Silence: “This is the story of how. . .
There are plenty of reasons you can fail to find the rhythm of a book. Sometimes it’s a matter of discarding initial assumptions or impressions, sometimes of resetting oneself. Zigmunds Skujiņš’s Flesh-Coloured Dominoes was a defining experience in the necessity. . .
In a culture that privileges prose, reviewing poetry is fairly pointless. And I’ve long since stopped caring about what the world reads and dropped the crusade to get Americans to read more poems. Part of the fault, as I’ve suggested. . .
I would like to pose the argument that it is rare for one to ever come across a truly passive protagonist in a novel. The protagonist (perhaps) of Three Light-Years, Claudio Viberti, is just that—a shy internist who lives in. . .
The last five days of the eleventh-century Icelandic politician, writer of sagas, and famous murder victim Snorri Sturleleson (the Norwegian spelling, Snorre, is preserved in the book) make up Thorvald Steen’s most recently translated historical fiction, The Little Horse. Murdered. . .
We all know Paris, or at least we think we know it. The Eiffel Tower. The Latin Quarter. The Champs-Élysées. The touristy stuff. In Dominique Fabre’s novel, Guys Like Me, we’re shown a different side of Paris: a gray, decaying. . .
One hundred pages into Birth of a Bridge, the prize-winning novel from French writer Maylis de Kerangal, the narrator describes how starting in November, birds come to nest in the wetlands of the fictional city of Coca, California, for three. . .
At 30, the Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is already gathering her rosebuds. Faces in the Crowd, her poised debut novel, was published by Coffee House Press, along with her Brodsky-infused essay collection, Sidewalks. The essays stand as a theoretical map. . .
Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia (narrated by Julio Cortázar) is, not disappointingly, as wild a book as its title suggests. It is a half-novella half-graphic novel story about . . . what, exactly? A European tribunal, Latin. . .
Marie NDiaye has created a tiny, psychological masterpiece with her Self-Portrait in Green. In it she explores how our private fears and insecurities can distort what we believe to be real and can cause us to sabotage our intimate relationships.. . .