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 . . .
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?),. . .
From the late 1940s to the early 1950s, Egypt was going through a period of transition. The country’s people were growing unhappy with the corruption of power in the government, which had been under British rule for decades. The Egyptians’. . .
Miruna is a novella written in the voice of an adult who remembers the summer he (then, seven) and his sister, Miruna (then, six) spent in the Evil Vale with their grandfather (sometimes referred to as “Grandfather,” other times as. . .
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While looking back at an episode in his life, twenty-year-old Taguchi Hiro remembers what his friend Kumamoto Akira said about poetry.
Its perfection arises precisely from its imperfection . . . . I have an image in my head. I see. . .
The central concern of Sorj Chalandon’s novel Return to Killybegs appears to be explaining how a person of staunch political activism can be lead to betray his cause, his country, his people. Truth be told, the real theme of the. . .
Spoiler alert: acclaimed writer Stefan Zweig and his wife Lotte kill themselves at the end of Lauren Seksik’s 2010 novel, The Last Days.
It’s hard to avoid spoiling this mystery. Zweig’s suicide actually happened, in Brazil in 1942, and since then. . .