There’s a lot to say about the fair, and about it’s impact on international publishing, and I’ll try and do more of this over the next couple weeks, but for now, I want to point out that it’s absolutely true that the Hof is the nerve center of the FBF nightlife, and if you’re going to be in the “in-crowd” you have to be there mingling, sipping a drink, chatting, all night. Four hours sleep becomes a luxury.
But it was by hanging out there that E.J. and I randomly met the agent for a South African novelist we’re interested in (until that moment we had no idea who represented this author), and it is the place that info from meetings gets amplified, connections are made, books are discussed, and so on.
John Freeman—my new blog idol for the amazing work he did covering the fair—has a nice post about this scene, and a great urban publishing legend:
According to a friend, a dutch publisher coming home in a blackout once made the mistake of giving his business card to the taxi driver, not the card for his hotel. He woke up 8 hours later in Amsterdam with a rather large bill. He then got on a plane and flew back to Frankfurt and went right on with his fair.
When my eyes first crossed the back cover of Fabio Genovesi’s novel Live Bait, I was caught by a blurb nestled between accolades, a few words from a reviewer for La Repubblica stating that the novel was, however magically, “[b]eyond. . .
“I preferred the war to the plague,” writes Curzio Malaparte in his 1949 novel, The Skin. He speaks of World War II and the destruction it has wrought on Italy, the city of Naples in particular. But the plague he. . .
With the steady rise of feminist scholarship and criticism in recent decades, it is little wonder that the work of Louise Labé should be attracting, as Richard Sieburth tells us in the Afterword to his translation, a “wide and thriving”. . .
In Conversations, we find ourselves again in the protagonist’s conscious and subconscious, which is mostly likely that of Mr. César Aira and consistent with prototypical Aira style. This style never fails because each time Aira is able to develop a. . .
You are not ashamed of what you do, but of what they see you do. Without realizing it, life can be an accumulation of secrets that permeates every last minute of our routine . . .
The narrative history of. . .
Literature in translation often comes with a certain pedigree. In this little corner of the world, with so few books making it into this comforting nook, it is often those of the highest quality that cross through, and attention is. . .
Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn is a set of two loosely interlinked novellas that play with narrative and the construction of character. Ably translated by Ann Goldstein, Mr. Gwyn plays some subtle metafictional games as Baricco delves into what it means. . .
I must admit upfront that I went into reading Saadat Hasan Manto’s Bombay Stories almost entirely blind. I have not read Salman Rushdie. I have read, perhaps, two short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. I might shamefully add that I really. . .
Throughout his work The Gray Notebook, Josep Pla mentions many different authors, some of whom have inspired him to pick up a pen. One of them is Marcel Proust. Even though Pla normally prefers nonfiction, he lauds the French novelist. . .
On that September 11th I had a conversation with a professor friend who was teaching a creative writing class that evening. He questioned, “What can I possibly teach when all of this has happened?” While the dismay and grief were. . .