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 . . .
Randall Jarrell once argued a point that I will now paraphrase and, in doing so, over-simplify: As a culture, we need book criticism, not book reviews. I sort of agree, but let’s not get into all of that. Having finished. . .
Like any good potboiler worth its salt, Fuminori Nakamura’s The Gun wastes no time setting up its premise: “Last night, I found a gun. Or you could say I stole it, I’m not really sure. I’ve never seen something so. . .
Heiner Resseck, the protagonist in Monika Held’s thought-provoking, first novel, This Place Holds No Fear, intentionally re-lives his past every hour of every day. His memories are his treasures, more dear than the present or future. What wonderful past eclipses. . .
If you’ve ever worked in a corporate office, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “Perception is reality.” To Björn, the office worker who narrates Jonas Karlsson’s novel The Room, the reality is simple: there’s a door near the bathroom that leads. . .
I recently listened to Three Percent Podcast #99, which had guest speaker Julia Berner-Tobin from Feminist Press. In addition to the usual amusement of finally hearing both sides of the podcast (normally I just hear parts of Chad’s side. . .
Let’s not deceive ourselves, man is nothing very special. In fact, there are so many of us that our governments don’t know what to do with us at all. Six billion humans on the planet and only six or seven. . .
“Rambling Jack—what’s that?”
“A novel. Novella, I guess.”
“Yeah, it looks short. What is it, a hundred pages?”
“Sorta. It’s a duel language book, so really, only about… 50 pages total.”
“And this—what. . .
Many authors are compared to Roberto Bolaño. However, very few authors have the privilege of having a Roberto Bolaño quote on the cover of their work; and at that, one which states, “Good readers will find something that can be. . .
In Josep Maria de Sagarra’s Private Life, a man harangues his friend about literature while walking through Barcelona at night:
When a novel states a fact that ties into another fact and another and another, as the chain goes on. . .
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. . .