18 March 10 | Chad W. Post

I feel like it’s been ages since I last posted anything new here . . . In my defense, it’s kind of tricky finding the time to come up with good material during a ten-day trip to Abu Dhabi, two panels (including the 2010 BTBA announcement), and an extended trip to New York. Two-and-a-half weeks of traveling is mentally exhausting.

I’m back in Rochester though, feeling more and more energized every sunny day that I can ride my bike to work, and ready to get back into all of this. Well, sort of. With the NCAA tournament starting in two hours, and a million-and-one things to catch up on, I think I need another day or so to get sorted. So instead of a number of thoughtful, well-put-together posts (as if that ever happens anyway), here’s a smattering of things:

  • The Australian Association for Literary Translation just launched the AALITRA Review, to publish translations with commentary and essays on the art&craft of translation. You can download the entire first issue (in pdf format) by clicking the link above. Number of interesting pieces in here, including a translation by Peter Hodges of “Don’t Trust the Band” by Boris Vian.
  • PEN America’s 2010 In Translation feature is now available online, and, as expected, is fricking loaded with material. Just look at the list of conversations: Anthea Bell & Doris Orgel (e-mail exchange), Nahid Mozaffari and Sara Khalili (audio), Gregory Rabassa, Edith Grossman, and Michael F. Moore (!!!!!!!). There’s also a number of good excerpts, including a piece from Robert Walser’s Microscripts, a few prologues from Macedonio Fernandez’s The Museum of Eterna’s Novel (everyone should read this), and a bit from Alejandro Zambra’s The Private Lives of Trees. And that’s just scratching the surface . . .
  • Next week we’re going to giveaway copies of Macedonio’s book to our Facebook fans, so if you’re not already one, you need to be. Clicking here to become a fan and have a chance to win.
  • Recently I had heard from a bunch of translators about a crazy new program that Dalkey/U of I had launched through which translators can pay $5,000 to get their first full-length book translation published. Which everyone I heard from thought this was a total scam. In Dalkey’s defense, there is a lot a translator could learn from working closely with an editor on a particular manuscript . . . but to be honest, the publication aspect changes this—in my mind, and all the translators who forwarded this announcement to me complete with their witty remarks (thanks!)—from a low-residency MFA sort of set-up, to something more vanity and seedy. (But seriously, wtf is going on here? It’s like being punched in the brain! Or a way induce seizures in kids? Although there are a billion things to make fun of here—like the fact that it may well be the most unreadable website ever—I’m not going to do it. Or at least I’m going to stop right now. Right. Now.)

In addition to a series of posts about the always interesting Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, we also have a few reviews coming up, including pieces on the new Peter Handke and Dubravka Ugresic titles.

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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. . .

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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. . .

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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. . .

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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. . .

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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. . .

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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. . .

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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,. . .

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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. . .

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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. . .

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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. . .

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