As mentioned a couple months back, this year’s Wolff Symposium will be taking place today and tomorrow at the Goethe Institut in Chicago.
It all kicks off tonight with the reception honoring Ross Benjamin for winning this year’s Wolff Prize for his translation of Speak, Nabokov by Michael Marr. (Which I still want to read. . . .)
Then tomorrow there’s a day of panels, including a reading from Breon Mitchell’s new translation of Gunter Grass’s The Tin Drum, a conversation on the “Wolff Prize and the Art of Literary Translation” featuring Susan Bernofsky, Krishna Winston, Drenka Willen, Ross Benjamin, and Breon Mitchell (and my translation-loving nerd heart just exploded . . . I mean, holy shit! this is the very definition of a star-studded panel . . . in translation circles, ‘natch), a conversation on “An Increased Interest in Foreign Literatre?” (with Dan Slager of Milkweed, Jeremy Davies of Dalkey, and Dennis Johnson of Melville House—and again, nice, nice, nice), one on “Cultivating Audiences: Particular Examples, Viable Models?” (with Susan B. again, along with Susan Harris of Words Without Borders and German translator Annie Janusch), and finally one on “Publishing Literary Translations and New Publishing Technologies” (which brings back DLJ, along with Henry Carrigan of Northwestern University Press, and Jeff Waxman from Seminary Co-op).
This should be brilliant. And I’ll do my best to recap as soon as possible. Probably when I get back . . . but hey, maybe I could tweet these?
Anyway, it should be excellent . . .
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.. . .
Reading a genre book—whether fantasy, science fiction, crime, thriller, etc.—which begins to seem excessively, stereotypically bad, I have to make sure to ask myself: is this parodying the flaws of the genre? Usually, this questioning takes its time coming. In. . .
The Sicilian Mafia has always been a rich subject for sensational crime fiction. The Godfather, Goodfellas, and The Sopranos worked the mob’s bloody corpses and family feuds to both entertainment and artistic value. Giuseppe di Piazza’s debut novel attempts this,. . .
Antoine Volodine’s vast project (40 plus novels) of what he calls the post-exotic remains mostly untranslated, so for many of us, understanding it remains touched with mystery, whispers from those “who know,” and guesswork. That’s not to say that, were. . .
It hasn’t quite neared the pitch of the waiting-in-line-at-midnight Harry Potter days, but in small bookstores and reading circles of New York City, an aura has attended the novelist Elena Ferrante and her works. One part curiosity (Who is she?),. . .