Archives

September, 2014

Sculpting in Uzbek

Translators sometimes try to refrain from passing judgment, but I feel compelled to say that Uzbek is a strange and mysterious language. It is built on a solid Turkic framework fleshed out with some Persian and Arabic vocabulary, then gilded over with Soviet-flavored Russian. It’s the...

The Week in Translation

GO what:TRANSLATABLE: A Multilingual Open Mic In Honor of International Translation Day when: Tuesday, September 30, 6:30pm where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library 901 G St NW / Washington, DC 20001 (Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro Station) more info: http://ow.ly/BvRTK what: Bread Loaf...

New in Spanish: Miquel de Palol’s “The Garden of the Seven Twilights”

Miquel de Palol (Barcelona, 1953) is one of the signal voices of contemporary Catalan letters. An architect by trade, he began to publish poetry at nineteen, and averaged a book of verse per year before bringing out El jardí dels set crepuscles (The Garden of the Seven Twilights), the...

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as laureates Herta Müller, J. M. G. Le...

Russia is Restless: A Brooklyn Book Festival Event

On September 19, almost sixty people gathered at Karloff Restaurant in Brooklyn for dinner and conversation with exiled Uzbek writer and BBC reporter Hamid Ismailov and Russian-American novelist Boris Fishman. The Brooklyn Book Festival event was hosted by Restless Books, a Brooklyn-based,...

The Week in Translation

GO what: Multilingualism in the US: Do Americans need more than one language?| when:Thursday, September 25, 5:30pm Roundtable Discussion, 7:30pm Reception with European specialists where: The Graduate Center, CUNY/365 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016 more info: http://ow.ly/BvU0v...

Where the Sidewalk Bends: In Search of Manoel de Barros’s Pantanal

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It’s an odd sensation to arrive in a place that you’ve never been before, but that you’ve already experienced through someone else’s eyes. Especially when that other person is a poet. I first learned about the Pantanal—vast wetlands in central Brazil that seep over the...

The City and the Writer: In Tulsa with Rilla Askew

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Special Series / Oklahoma 2014 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 Tulsa as you...

The Week in Translation

GO   what: Book Signing for Evelyn Trouillot’s novel The Infamous Rosalie when: Wednesday, September 17, 5 PM where: La Caye Restaurant, 35, Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY   what: Imaginary Gardens With Real Robots in Them: On Translating Science Fiction (Ross Benjamin, Terry...

Buying Time

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As a writer of science fiction in the Ukrainian language, Taras Antypovych is a relatively rare phenomenon. In a country where the vast majority of readers can read in Russian, and where the market in genre fiction is overwhelmingly dominated by imports from Russia, it is difficult for unknown...

My Favorite Bookstore: Magdalena Sorensen on Hedengren’s

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Hedengrens Bokhandel, Stureplan 4, Sturegallerian, Postadress: Box 5509, 114 85 STOCKHOLM   In the most elegant part of the polished city of Stockholm, in the city’s financial center, in a luxurious mall called Sturegallerian, there’s a dark, slightly dusty place where you get no music,...

The Week in Translation

GO what: Imaginary Gardens With Real Robots in Them: On Translating Science Fiction (Ross Benjamin, Terry Gallagher, Michael Kandel) presented by The Bridge Series and the PEN Translation Committee when: Thursday, September 18, 7 PM where: Singularity & Co. Bookshop (18 Bridge...

August, 2014

The City and the Writer: In Norman with Daniel Simon

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Special Series / Oklahoma 2014 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 Norman as you...

A White Room and a Blackout Curtain

When I was fifteen, living in Solihull, England, the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest added a new language to those spoken at home (English and Dutch) and those taught at grammar school (French, German, and Latin). Rather implausibly, this lightweight song contest generated my interest in Finnish. I...

New in Chinese: “The Chilli Bean Paste Clan” by YAN Ge

You might imagine that I thought long and hard in choosing my best untranslated book, because China has so many writers and so little of their work reaches the West, at least in English. But I plumped without any hesitation for Yan Ge’s The Chilli Bean Paste Clan. (The title in Chinese is...

The Week in Translation

GO what: Bread Loaf Translators' Conference when: June 1-7, 2015 where: Bread Loaf Campus of Middlebury College, Ripton, VT more info: http://ow.ly/ArhUv what: 2014 ALTA Conference: Translation & Politics when: November 12-14, 2014 where: Milwaukee, WI more...

Englishing Vladimir Vertlib

Vladimir Vertlib (b. 1966 in Leningrad) is a contemporary Austrian writer. Reviewers in the German press have had trouble putting a label on him, referring to him alternately as a “Russian writer,” an “Austrian Russian,” a “Russian living in Austria,” a...

Between Love and Justice: Teaching Literary Translation at Boston University

Early in Sonallah Ibrahim’s novel Al-Jalid (Ice), set in Moscow, the Egyptian narrator is taking the metro home from a concert with his beautiful Russian dorm mate Zoya. The train is loud and his Russian is not great, but he gathers that things are not going well with Hans, her handsome East...

Where the Sidewalk Bends: Interview with Sylvio Fraga

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Sylvio Fraga was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1986, moved back and forth between the US and Brazil until the age of thirteen, spent his teen years in Rio, earned a BA in Economics at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), directed the Antônia Parreiras Museum in...

The City and the Writer: In Iowa City with Chris Merrill

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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 Iowa City as you feel/see it? This is the only...

The Week in Translation

GO what: Bread Loaf Translators' Conference when: June 1-7, 2015 where: Bread Loaf Campus of Middlebury College, Ripton, VT more info: http://ow.ly/ArhUv what: 2014 ALTA Conference: Translation & Politics when: November 12-14, 2014 where: Milwaukee, WI more...

The Translator Relay: Bill Johnston

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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 August's installment, Esther Allen passed the baton to Bill Johnston, who has translated some thirty works of poetry,...

The City and the Writer: In New York City with Jason Porter

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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 New York City as you feel/see it? When I first...

The Week in Translation

GO what: 2014 ALTA Conference: Translation & Politics when: November 12-14, 2014 where: Milwaukee, WI more info: http://ow.ly/zVhXF SUBMIT what: 2015 Austrian Cultural Forum New York Translation Prize submissions accepted: July 1-September 1, 2014 more...

Where the Sidewalk Bends: The Flip of all Flips

Located on Brazil’s lush Green Coast, midway between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Paraty is a colonial-era town of whitewashed buildings with brightly painted shutters, famous for its beaches, mountains, and cachaça distilleries. For five days last week, its unwieldy...

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