Click here to read a new article (Publishing Perspectives, June 20) on the European Union’s annual Literature Prize, as well as thoughtful conversation about the difficulty of getting published in a “big” language.
The EU’s Literature Prize was developed to facilitate cultural and artistic exchange across Europe’s many linguistic and national borders. However, as the writers in this article point out, there are a few factors that complicate the enactment of such a worthy goal.
One of the issues that the article explores in depth is the problem of getting translated into a “big” language – English, German, Spanish, or French – from a “small” language. As an English-speaker, I never would’ve imagined the kinds of publication challenges faced by “small”-language writers.
After reading the article, I had to wonder: even in languages, does a certain hierarchy exist? When your native language is spoken in an area the size of Connecticut, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to reach a wider audience. What can we do to support authors from smaller countries and to help get their works translated? It’s a question that merits discussion, in my opinion.
Though far from the most convincing reason to read literature in translation, one common side effect is learning of another culture, of its history. Within that, and a stronger motivation to read, is the discovery of stories not possible within. . .
Despite cries that literature is dead, dying, and self-replicating in the worst way, once in a while a book comes along to remind readers that there’s still a lot of surprise to be found on the printed page. To be. . .
“I was small. And my village was small, I came to know that in time. But when I was small it was big for me, so big that when I had to cross it from one end to the other,. . .
A few weeks after moving into a farm house in the Welsh countryside, Emilie, an expatriate from the Netherlands, starts to think about her uncle. This uncle tried to drown himself in a pond in front of the hotel where. . .
Think back to the last adventure- or action-type book you read. Wasn’t it cool? Didn’t it make you want to do things, like learn to shoot a crossbow, hack complicated information systems, travel to strange worlds, take on knife-wielding thugs,. . .
In Aira’s Shantytown, while we’re inside the characters’ heads for a good portion of the story, the voice we read on the page is really that of Aira himself, as he works out the plot of the book he’s writing.. . .
Noir is not an easy genre to define—or if it once was, that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away; as a quick guess, maybe Silver Lake, Los Angeles, 1935. When two books as different as. . .
Some time ago I read this phrase: “The page is the only place in the universe God left blank for me.”
Pedro Mairal’s short novel The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra is more about these blank spaces than the usual full. . .
“What if even in the afterlife you have to know foreign languages? Since I have already suffered so much trying to speak Danish, make sure to assign me to the Polish zone . . .”
So reads a typical aphoristic “poem”. . .
If you somehow managed to overlook the 2012 translation of Andrés Neuman’s breathtaking Traveler of the Century (and woe betide all whom continue to do so), you now have two exceptional works of fiction from the young Argentine virtuoso demanding. . .