Tomorrow kicks off a killer 11-day trip for me: first to NYC to pick up a rental car and three authors/transltors (Bragi Olafsson, Margaret Carson, and Sergio Chejfec) and drive them to Scranton, PA, then from there to Frankfurt, and then back in Rochester on October 11th . . . I’ll still be posting on occasion (mostly about TOC Frankfurt, and other Frankfurt goings on), but while I’m
loopy drunk exhausted, so we’ll have to see how coherent these posts are . . .
But the main point of this post is to tell you about the Pages & Places Festival taken place in Scranton, PA this Saturday. I don’t know too much about the festival itself, except to say that novelist Joanna Scott participated a few years ago and loved it, and the line-up of events looks really solid.
I’ll be there with the above named authors/translators and translator Steve Dolph to kick off the festival with a 9am panel entitled “The World on our Bookshelves: The Import of Literature in Translation.” We’ll be talking about a few books—_The Ambassador_, Sixty-Five Years of Washington, and My Two Worlds—and also about the process of translating, publishing a translation, and promoting international literature as a whole. So if anyone’s in Scranton, I hope you come by and say hi. Should be a fun panel . . .
The full list of panels can be found here. I’m particularly excited about “The Brain & Culture: How Advances in Neuroscience are Changing the Way We Imagine Ourselves,” but they all look really interesting.
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. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .
Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .
There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in Morse, My Deaf Friend— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .