29 October 08 | Chad W. Post

The new issue of the Estonian Literary Magazine is now available in print ant online.

It’s a very poetry heavy issue, with articles about the “legendary” Heiti Talvik (who was the “guru” of his generation “like Burroughs was for the Beatniks”), on Maarja Kangro (the title of the piece, “iiii-iiii-iiiiiiiiii! is pretty intriguing), and Eha Lättemäe.

There is an article on Younger Estonian Prose that is pretty interesting. In the piece, Peeter Helme looks at the paucity of outlets for young Estonian writers—really seems limited to the biannual “novel competition” and the magazine Värske Rõhk (Fresh Pressure) which only publishes authors who are between 17 and 27—and makes some general comments about the fiction the kids are writing today. He basically breaks it down into three categories: science fiction (which is a relatively new genre in Estonian literature), psychological realism (of course), and magical realism (just keep walking).

His info about the winner of the novel competition and the runner-up is pretty interesting. First, about the winner Tiina Laanem and her novel Little Old Men:

This debut novel is an ironic glance at Estonian society: the characters are not real people but caricatures of creatures as they are described in modern lifestyle and women’s magazines.

Helme refers to the novel that placed second—_Pupils of St Nicholas_ (aka The Pupils of Niguliste) by Olle Lauli (a pseudonym)—as being more “lucid” and “grim” than the winning book, and also claims that it was influenced by American Psycho:

This is quite an exception work in Estonian literature. Most importantly, it marks the arrival of the Anglo-American form of the novel in Estonia. The story is quite plot driven, using spoken language, occasionally coarse dialogue and—typically of American authors—the book is extraordinarily bulky, 535 pages. Pupils of St Nicholas is a grim and naturalistic tale about the decline of a successful yuppie and about hopelessly tangled human relations at the beginning of the 21st century in Tallinn. It is very disturbing and, as such, a convincing reading experience.

I’m never thrilled to see international authors trying to mimic the “Anglo-American form of the novel,” but some American publisher might be interested in this. There is also a full review of this title in this issue of ELM, which gives a bit more insight into the book. (Businessmen, corruption, God, lack of God, and beatings—that’s how I’m sum up their summary.)

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 >