E.J. already posted about this yesterday, but on Monday there were a series of events at the Deutsches Haus in New York about French and German literature and related to the Editors Trip that took place earlier this year.
Anyway, I was on the Promoting International Literature Online panel, which was pretty interesting, and which Michael Orthofer did a great job recapping at the Literary Saloon.
What caught my attention was this:
While I appreciate that the complete review and its Literary Saloon are held in some regard, I found it somewhat disconcerting to be considered near the forefront of what’s being done on the Internet re. international literary coverage. Lazy, with no resources and far too little time (otherwise I could attend all those other panels …) I cobble together what I find of interest, when and as I can. The complete review should be a second- or third-tier information site; it’s a sad sign of the times and the field that you can get your information here first.
He’s being overly-modest, but he’s also got a point. I’m a huge fan of what Orthofer’s done, and when I say that Three Percent was inspired by Literary Saloon and Complete Review, I’m being completely honest.
What I most admire about his sites is the integrity and intellectual curiosity that drives his posts. Literary Saloon is in no way a “Dear Diary” sort of site, which is why it’s so respected and valuable to the culture at large.
That said, there does need to be more sources of information about international literature—especially works that are untranslated. But like we talked about on the panel, five years ago, there wasn’t enough going on to even put together a panel. Words Without Borders was in its infancy, InTranslation didn’t exist, PEN America’s site was miles away from the incredible source it is today, so things are changing and growing. And hopefully that will continue. This panel proved that there is a hunger for information about these books, and that there’s still a lot of people out there who aren’t familiar with what’s going on online.
So hold tight Michael. Hopefully you’ll be fighting for top-tier status sometime soon . . . in a good way.
“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. . .
Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli. . .
Even though the latest from Jean Echenoz is only a thin volume containing seven of what he calls “little literary objects,” it is packed with surprises. In these pieces, things happen below the surface, sometimes both literally and figuratively. As. . .
Who is this woman? This is the question that opens Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a novel of colonial-era Shanghai’s spies and revolutionaries, police and smugglers, who scoot between doorways, walk nonchalantly down avenues, smoke cigars in police bureaus, and lounge. . .
For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love.. . .
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. . .