17 January 08 | Chad W. Post

This morning, I received a couple interesting e-mails regarding the ACE funding cuts that we’ve been talking about for the past couple weeks. As most everyone has heard, a number of independent publishers—including Dedalus and Arcadia, two presses that do a lot of work in translations—have had the funding they receive from the Arts Council England either slashed or cut entirely.

Well, Centerprise Literature is another to add to the list. According to this message, all of their funding is being withdrawn as of April 1st.

A cut to funding could mean:

  • the end to delivery of courses for writers at every level of their

development here at Centerprise;

  • the end of publication of Calabash magazine, an important resource for new and established writers of African and Asian descent;

After reading about all of these organizations losing funding, it would only be natural to assume that the ACE must’ve had it’s funding cut as well . . . Not so according to Joan Smith’s op-ed piece in The Guardian:

It takes a particular kind of ineptitude to announce a £50m increase in funding to the arts and set just about everyone in the arts world against you. This feat has been achieved by Arts Council England, which has been inundated with letters, petitions and threats of legal action from supporters of the small theatres, orchestras and independent publishers whose existence is now in doubt. [. . .]

It’s all in the name, apparently, of “the reclamation of excellence from its historic elitist undertones”.

That means trouble for such hopelessly elite venues as the Bush Theatre in west London, not to mention small publishers such as Dedalus and Arcadia, who stubbornly insist on exposing English-speaking readers to work by foreigners. [. . .]

Believe me, there is no other way for such writers to get published in this country. The dreadful state of mainstream publishing is an open secret; profit and celebrity are what drives the industry, and marketing departments don’t see either in a promising young Polish or Croatian novelist. Earlier this week, one of the country’s most distinguished publishers told me he had snapped up a Swedish crime novel, which has been a runaway best-seller in Scandinavia, after it was turned down by just about every mainstream house in London.

This kind of risk-taking is almost unknown in commercial publishing these days.

I have nothing to add. As I said before, I can’t imagine the pressure and difficulties of being on any Arts Council and making funding decisions about so many worthy organizations, but nevertheless, this kind of radical shake-up and fall-out seems pretty easy to avoid.

Comments are disabled for this article.
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 >

A Simple Story: The Last Malambo
A Simple Story: The Last Malambo by Leila Guerriero
Reviewed by Emilee Brecht

Leila Guerriero’s A Simple Story: The Last Malambo chronicles the unique ferocity of a national dance competition in Argentina. The dance, called the malambo, pushes the physical and mental limits of male competitors striving to become champions of not only. . .

Read More >

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