Archives

February, 2015

The Shareable Loneliness of Translating

Literary translation is a rather lonely enterprise: not only because, like writing, it requires long periods of hermitic concentration, but because one is never sure if a translated text will find readers.  For Anglophone readers, literature in translation is a specialized taste, at best exotic,…...

The Other Road: Maximilien Le Roy’s Collaborative Storytelling

I first discovered graphic novelist Maximilien Le Roy through his book Nietzsche: Se Créer Liberté (“The Creation of Freedom”), a graphic-novel biography he wrote in collaboration with French philosopher Michel Onfray. Drawing from a text that Onfray first published as a screenplay,…...

The City and the Writer: In Copenhagen with Hanne-Vibeke Holst

Image of The City and the Writer: In Copenhagen with Hanne-Vibeke Holst
Special City Series/Copenhagen, Denmark 2015 If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.  —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Copenhagen…...

The Week in Translation

SUBMIT what: Transference Literary Journal: Dedicated to the celebration of poetry in translation, the journal publishes translations from Arabic, Chinese, French and Old French, German, Classical Greek and Latin, Japanese, and Russian into English verse.  submission deadline: February 28,…...

The Translator Relay: Alyson Waters

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Our "Translator Relay" series features a new interview each month. This month's translator will choose the next interviewee, adding a different, sixth question. For December's installment, Michael Emmerich passed the baton to Alyson Waters, a French translator whose authors include: …...

Fact, Act, Phenomenon: On Translating “Un fatto umano”

When I first picked up Manfredi Giffone’s Un fatto umano, excerpted in Words without Borders as A Human Act, I expected nothing more than a violent diversion similar to the Godfather or Scarface. In fact, the book approaches the mafia from the opposite end, focusing on the corrosive effects wrought…...

WWB Seeks Book Review Editor

Words without Borders is looking for a book review editor to assign and edit two lead and two short reviews per month for the magazine. Candidates must have a strong interest in international literature as well as familiarity with new and forthcoming books in English translation.…...

The City and the Writer: In Copenhagen with Martin Glaz Serup

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Special City Series/Copenhagen, Denmark 2015 If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.                                                        …...

The Week in Translation

SUBMIT what: Transference Literary Journal: Dedicated to the celebration of poetry in translation, the journal publishes translations from Arabic, Chinese, French and Old French, German, Classical Greek and Latin, Japanese, and Russian into English verse.  submission deadline: February 28,…...

The City and the Writer: In Copenhagen with Lone Kühlmann

Image of The City and the Writer: In Copenhagen with Lone Kühlmann
Special City Series/Copenhagen, Denmark 2015 If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains. —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Copenhagen…...

The Week in Translation

SUBMIT what: Transference Literary Journal: Dedicated to the celebration of poetry in translation, the journal publishes translations from Arabic, Chinese, French and Old French, German, Classical Greek and Latin, Japanese, and Russian into English verse.  submission deadline: February 28,…...

Where the Sidewalk Bends: Interview with Adriana Lisboa

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A novelist, poet, and short story writer, Adriana Lisboa’s works include the novels Symphony in White (winner of the José Saramago Prize), Crow Blue (named one of the best books of the year by The Independent), and Hanoi (one of O Globo’s best books of the year), the poetry collection…...

The Week in Translation

SUBMIT what: Transference Literary Journal: Dedicated to the celebration of poetry in translation, the journal publishes translations from Arabic, Chinese, French and Old French, German, Classical Greek and Latin, Japanese, and Russian into English verse.  submission deadline: February 28,…...

The City and the Writer: In Copenhagen with Janne Teller

Image of The City and the Writer: In Copenhagen with Janne Teller
Special City Series/Copenhagen, Denmark 2015 If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains. —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Copenhagen…...

January, 2015

Pulp Fiction as Speculative Sociology: On Hernán Vanoli

I have always been drawn to literature driven by overt or covert sociological inquiries, fictions constructed to understand on various individual or collective levels those vexing questions of cultural or political history that social scientists spend their careers measuring, theorizing, and debating. …...

Ode to the Mango: My Dinners with Neruda

The one time I visited Santiago de Chile—it was July 1991, winter in the southern hemisphere, and the days were sunny, cold and crisp—I made the pilgrimage to Pablo Neruda’s house on the coast, in a place called Isla Negra. My reason for this trip to the Cono Sur—I would also…...

Bard on the Beach: Remembering Phu on Thailand’s Gulf Coast

Two hours east of Bangkok, on Thailand's gulf coast, lies the small beach town of Bang Saen. Lined mostly with casual restaurants and lower to middle-range accommodations, Bang Saen is usually bypassed by foreign travelers for more glamorous resorts further east, leaving these laid-back shores to…...

The City and the Writer: In Copenhagen with Dorthe Nors

Image of The City and the Writer: In Copenhagen with Dorthe Nors
Special City Series/Copenhagen, Denmark 2015 If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.                 …...

The Week in Translation

GO what: Two Lines presents: Catalan Literature & Tapas with Katherine Silver and Peter Bush when: January 27, doors open at 5pm, event starts at 5:30 where: B44 Catalan Bistro, San Francisco more info: http://ow.ly/HaxKz SUBMIT what: PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000-$4,000), open…...

Let’s Talk about Love and Duty and Being Nice to People

Pictures of Shi Tiesheng show him wearing the standard issue baggy jumper and squareish, plastic-framed glasses sported by intellectuals of the eighties, and—almost invariably—smiling. Sometimes his wheelchair is in view and sometimes it isn’t. The cause of his disability was usually…...

Fast Memories: Recycled Soviets and Real-life Russians in Havana Bay

When Vladimir Putin traveled to Cuba in 2000, he was the first Russian president to do so since Mikhail Gorbachev visited in 1989. Soviet influence on the island was hardly something anyone wished to remember. At that time, a Cuban woman in the street reported to the press a sentiment that echoed an…...

The Week in Translation

GO what: Two Lines presents: Catalan Literature & Tapas with Katherine Silver and Peter Bush when: January 27, doors open at 5pm, event starts at 5:30 where: B44 Catalan Bistro, San Francisco more info: http://ow.ly/HaxKz SUBMIT what: PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000-$4,000), open…...

“I Like Calling Myself a Thief”: An Interview with Rabih Alameddine

“I wanted to write a happy book; really, really happy—and this is what came out,” Lebanese writer Rabih Alameddine said of his new novel, An Unnecessary Woman, at a reading at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop last year.  On the surface, the novel seems anything but happy:…...

New in French: “La petite communiste qui ne souriait jamais” by Lola Lafon

At the 1974 Montreal Olympic Games, the fourteen-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci scored a perfect “10” on the beam and dazzled the entire world. It was the first time an athlete had ever done this in an Olympic gymnastic competition. Even the electronic scoring board wasn’t…...

Suono e Significato: On Being Translated into Italian

While completing my MFA in Creative Writing at George Mason University, I took a wonderful course with Jennifer Atkinson entitled, “Poetry in Translation.” I loved reading about how various translators worked, and the rationales behind their linguistic decisions. I even produced a few semi-competent…...

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