15 July 08 | Chad W. Post

One of the fun things about Book Expo America is that it offers a great opportunity to find out about new presses, magazines, bookstores, etc. It can be difficult when you’re blinded by the Random House fortress or the overwhelming Ingram “booth,” but there is a lot going on at the fringes.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, but one of the cool new presses I found out about at BEA is Counterpath Press. Counterpath is relatively new nonprofit—I think they’ve published nine books or so—based in Denver. I haven’t seen any of the books, but the covers look pretty elegant, and their website is fairly slick. (Although reading white type on black is my least favorite thing.) Counterpath’s mission is pretty ambitious:

Counterpath Press is a new publisher of innovative and experimental poetry, fiction, and drama, as well as cultural criticism, scholarly work, philosophy, and theory. Our projects include full-length printed books, shorter chapbooks, a yearly review, conceptual projects, and internet-based material. We look for work that actively searches out new definitions of aesthetic experience and constitutes the best possibilities in writing, thinking, and the arts.

They have a number of interesting titles in their catalog—including Air and Memory by Franco Loi and Mopus by Oisin Curran, and they’re also publishing old/new Dalkey Archive editor Jeremy Davies’s first novel—but the book that caught my eye was Heimito von Doderer’s Divertimenti and Variations:

A story collection by the acclaimed Austrian novelist of the early and mid twentieth century, Divertimenti and Variations mediates traditional and experimental story technique to explore the authentic self and creates musically-based narrative forms. These narrative experiments were begun in 1923, not long after the publication of Joyce’s Ulysses, with its “Sirens” chapter structured like a fugue. Traditional psychological realism combines with four-part “symphonic” experimental form—complete with development, intermezzi, and thematic repetition and variation—to demonstrate how technique is adequate to reveal and resolve conflict. Love interests, family tensions, dreams forcing the dreamers to face their struggles, physical injury, a young blind woman’s gaining sight, insanity, unexamined lives—Doderer develops these themes by adeptly employing traditional representation, but he does so through innovative narrative structures grounded in the musical formalisms of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.

Von Doderer is an Austrian writer who is probably most well known for The Demons, a mammoth novel (I own a three-volume edition that Quartet did a number of years ago) about the decline of European civilization. It’s been compared to Proust, Musil, etc., and seems to be out of print . . . Maybe Counterpath will help launch a von Doderer revival . . .

Comments are disabled for this article.
The Odyssey
The Odyssey by Homer
Reviewed by Peter Constantine

Now goddess, child of Zeus,
tell the old story for our modern times.

–(The Odyssey, Book I, line 10. Emily Wilson)

In literary translation of works from other eras, there are always two basic tasks that a translator needs. . .

Read More >

I Remember Nightfall
I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio
Reviewed by Talia Franks

I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio (trans. From the Spanish by Jeannine Marie Pitas) is a bilingual poetry volume in four parts, consisting of the poems “The History of Violets,” “Magnolia,” “The War of the Orchards,” and “The Native. . .

Read More >

Joyce y las gallinas
Joyce y las gallinas by Anna Ballbona
Reviewed by Brendan Riley

This review was originally published as a report on the book at New Spanish Books, and has been reprinted here with permission of the reviewer. The book was originally published in the Catalan by Anagrama as Joyce i les. . .

Read More >

Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders
Reviewed by Kaija Straumanis

Hello and greetings in the 2017 holiday season!

For those of you still looking for something to gift a friend or family member this winter season, or if you’re on the lookout for something to gift in the. . .

Read More >

The Size of the World
The Size of the World by Branko Anđić
Reviewed by Jaimie Lau

Three generations of men—a storyteller, his father and his son—encompass this book’s world. . . . it is a world of historical confusion, illusion, and hope of three generations of Belgraders.

The first and last sentences of the first. . .

Read More >

Island of Point Nemo
Island of Point Nemo by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès
Reviewed by Katherine Rucker

The Island of Point Nemo is a novel tour by plane, train, automobile, blimp, horse, and submarine through a world that I can only hope is what Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès’s psyche looks like, giant squids and all.

What. . .

Read More >

The Truce
The Truce by Mario Benedetti
Reviewed by Adrianne Aron

Mario Benedetti (1920-2009), Uruguay’s most beloved writer, was a man who loved to bend the rules. He gave his haikus as many syllables as fit his mood, and wrote a play divided into sections instead of acts. In his country,. . .

Read More >

I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World
I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World by Kim Kyung Ju
Reviewed by Jacob Rogers

Kim Kyung Ju’s I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World, translated from the Korean by Jake Levine, is a wonderful absurdist poetry collection. It’s a mix of verse and prose poems, or even poems in the. . .

Read More >

Kingdom Cons
Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera
Reviewed by Sarah Booker

Yuri Herrera is overwhelming in the way that he sucks readers into his worlds, transporting them to a borderland that is at once mythical in its construction and powerfully recognizable as a reflection of its modern-day counterpart. Kingdom Cons, originally. . .

Read More >

The Invented Part
The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Imagine reading a work that suddenly and very accurately calls out you, the reader, for not providing your full attention to the act of reading. Imagine how embarrassing it is when you, the reader, believe that you are engrossed in. . .

Read More >

The next few events from our Translation Events Calendar: See More Events >