Amanda DeMarco—founder of the Readux online literary magazine, occasional correspondent for Publishing Perspectives, member of the Berlin literati, and all around good person—just launched her latest enterprise: Readux Books.
Readux Books will individually publish short works of (mostly) translated literature. Based in Berlin, our location in the heart of European literary life is one of our great strengths. We will release four teeny books (small format, 32–64 pp.) three times yearly, a bit like a magazine. The books will be available in print and electronically. The first set will be published at the beginning of October 2013.
This is a great moment to work with short-form writing. During my research, I’ve discovered a constellation of organizations dedicated to publishing short texts individually, but Readux is the first to do so with a focus on translation.
Translations from German will play an important and continuing role in our program, because of our special ties to Berlin and to German literature. In our first year, we will also publish translations from Swedish, in partnership with the Swedish publisher Novellix, whose format is the inspiration for our own. We look forward to many fruitful collaborations with Novellix in the future, as well as with other organizations in Europe and in the United States, which we’re excited to tell you more about in the coming months.
Each group of books will also include one piece by a well-known English-language writer. This person’s piece will also act as a gateway, helping readers discover foreign authors they don’t yet know they love.
Last week she announced the first package of titles to be published by the press:
Two of our little books focus on our ever-fascinating home-city of Berlin: The brilliant writer-translator Franz Hessel’s In Berlin takes an intimate look at turbulent Weimar-era Berlin with two classic 1929 essays.
In City of Rumor: The Compulsion to Write About Berlin, Gideon Lewis-Kraus examines what it is that makes him return to the topic of Berlin again and again.
Francis Nenik’s The Marvel of Biographical Bookkeeping is a moving and formally virtuosic exploration of talent, fate, and chance in the lives of two twentieth-century poets.
Swedish literary star Malte Persson’s smart, ironic story Fantasy, about the fallout in the wake of a failed Stockholm movie production, investigates the shifting boundaries between fantasy and reality.
More information about how to order—or subscribe, which is what you should do—will be available in the near future. In the meantime, it’s just worth checking out her site. I’m particularly excited about the Gideon Lewis-Kraus book . . .
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. . .
The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .