The Literary Saloon has some coverage of a panel that Chad was on, called ‘Promoting Literature in Translation Online’:
While familiar with the sites, it was interesting to hear what they were doing and what they had planned, especially as several of the sites are in the process of being overhauled (or, in the case of Words without Borders, recently were). There is a good deal — and variety — of information available among them, even as they have different, sometimes overlapping objectives. Speaking for Dalkey, Martin Riker noted the difficulty of serving both a public non-profit objective (i.e. largely informational) as well as being on some level a commercial publisher (i.e. selling books) — albeit with non-profit status — an issue Open Letters will eventually also face. The French organizations are there to try to promote specifically French titles, while In Translation, Ww/oB, and, to some extent, PEN are trying to promote foreign literature and translators.
They also take issue with the idea of RSS feeds, saying, ‘I always think the emphasis should be on actual content’. We agree, which is why people who subscribe to our RSS feed get access to all of our content through their readers.
And he called us Open Letters, but what’s an extra ‘s’ between friends?
Prose translators will likely disagree, but I believe translating poetry requires a significant level of talent, a commitment to the text, and near mania, all of which suggests that the undertaking is the greatest possible challenge. The task is to. . .
The biggest issues with books like The Subsidiary often have to do with their underpinnings—when we learn that Georges Perec wrote La Disparition without once using the letter E, we are impressed. Imagine such a task! It takes a high. . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .