Archives

September, 2010

Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

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Around the Day in Eighty Worlds, by the Argentine writer Julio Cortázar, appeared in its first version in Spanish in 1967. This “collage book” was followed two years later by another, entitled Last Round. Eleven years later, in 1980, the author chose 62 selections from the...

August, 2010

From the Archives: A Coastal Village, When Summer Gives It the Slip

As the Northern Hemisphere's summer crawls to a close, we recommend Yasmina Khadra's "Absence."  In an Algerian resort town at the end of the season, shy, dreamy teen Nasser waves good-bye to the departing Noria, the object of his mute yearning. Wandering the deserted streets, Nasser...

From the Archives: The Girl with the Finnish Stalker

In this Summer of Stieg Larsson, we challenge Sweden's claim to the Nordic crime crown with a chilling Finnish story from our issue of June 2007.  In this extract from one of Matti Yrjänä Joensuu's Detective Harjunpää novels, a criminal with the deceptively mild...

The Savage Night by Mohammed Dib

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Mohammed Dib was born in Algeria in 1920 and was deported for his nationalist views in 1959, during the country's long and bloody war for independence. Though he was a prolific and honored writer in France, where he died in 2003, his work has been almost unavailable in English. In 2001,...

From the Archives: The Particular Sadness of Fresh Lobster

Since the entire world is on vacation, anticipating vacation, or just back from vacation, we recommend "Agony in the Kitchen," from our issue of September 2003. Juan José Millás depicts a fretful man who installs his family in a beautiful seaside house but can't take a holiday...

New York, New York!

In his excellent new book, Hispanic New York, Columbia University’s Claudio Remeseira stays within the five boroughs and yet has achieved something decidedly, and admirably, far-flung. I think of the volume as a biography of New York, a portrait of the city – past, present, and future...

Cross-Cultural Dialogues: In Response

We'd like to respond to a recent online article which raised some concerns about the initial description of our project. First of all, as the moderators we would like to thank the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) for their feedback and state that we...

From the Archives: Riding Bearback

If this month's wealth of Hungarian writing leaves you wanting more, look no further than our May 2008 issue. György Dragomán's "Haul" describes a human smuggler named Zeus and his less than Olympian methods.  In an unspecified year, he drives his desperate clients to an...

Inspirations

As Chana and I have begun to examine the literary and publishing trends in Israel and the Palestinian territories in light of the shifting political situation in the region, I’ve found myself thinking back to a recent exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, titled:...

Maps

A few years ago, in a seminar I took on contemporary Palestinian literature, the professor gave us a homework assignment to draw a map of Israel and Palestine.  I remember finding it a bit comical, the idea of a bunch of graduate students going home, digging up some crayons or markers, and...

Elif Shafak on the Politics of Fiction

Ted.com features a video of Turkish writer and WWB contributor Elif Shafak speaking on the politics of fiction.  Shafak describes her childhood as the daughter of a diplomat, recalls the various stereotypes her classmates had of Turkey and the correspondingly clichéd expectations put...

From the Archives: Dueling Castro Autobiographies

Fidel Castro has announced the publication of The Strategic Victory, the first volume of his memoirs. (The second volume:  The Final Strategic Counteroffensive.) For a possibly more accurate perspective, check out these extracts from Norberto Fuentes's Autobiography of Fidel Castro:...

July, 2010

New Blog Series: Cross-Cultural-Dialogues In the Middle East

The two of us met during a particularly gritty winter in our first year of graduate school at Brown University. While Chana, an Israeli fiction writer, translator and scholar had just begun working on her PhD in Israeli and Palestinian Comparative Literature, I was completing my MFA in Fiction at...

From the Archives: To the Winner Goes the Prosciutto

Jean-Philippe Toussaint's Self-Portrait Abroad collects the Belgian writer's impressions of his travels to destinations as diverse as Kyoto, Berlin, Hanoi, and Prague. The extract published in our issue of April 2006, "Cap Corse (The Best Day of My Life)," describes an afternoon on...

Lives on Paper

We're delighted to note the publication of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud's Life on Paper, a collection of short stories selected and translated by Edward Gauvin. Châteaureynaud is recognized as one of France's top fabulists, but had little exposure in English until...

From the Translator: Why I Translate the Work of Andrei Sen-Senkov

This essay is written as an accompaniment to the poem “Drawings on a Soccer Ball,” but since this poem is a good representation of Sen-Senkov’s work in general I would like to write broadly about my experience with his work as a whole.   I first met the author in 2007 in...

From the Archives: The Sweet Science and Magic

Ana María Shua's Rematch, from our August 2005 issue, goes twelve rounds with the story of Argentine boxer Carlos Monzón, the World Champion Middleweight from 1970 to 1977.  Our narrator, a grizzled old fan, recounts how he engineered Monzón's brilliant career...

Translating the World

The Banff Centre Press has just published a collection of essays on translation, Beyond Words: Translating the World, edited by Susan Ouriou, director of the Banff International Literary Translation Center. The Centre offers an annual summer residency for translators working into and from the...

From the Archives: Rx for World Cup Withdrawal

If the end of the World Cup has left you, in the words of Mexico's Álvaro Enrigue, "socceristically disoriented," we prescribe Enrigue's elegiac "Readymade" from our June 2006 issue. This memoir of Mexico's hapless Club de Fútbol Pachuca and its Alfonso "the Fool"...

From the Translator: Elizabeth Harris on Translating Chess in “The Revenge of Capablanca”

In a special piece for Dispatches, Elizabeth Harris, translator of Fabio Stassi's piece The Revenge of Capablanca in this month's issue, talks about the ins and outs of translating Stassi. I’m delighted that the editor of Words Without Borders asked me to talk a bit about the...

World Lit and World Cup Round-up or “Around the World in 32 (or so) Books”

This past May, in the buildup to the World Cup, the New York Times’s soccer blog, Goal, ran a roundup of new soccer-related books timed to be released just before this summer’s tournament.  There are some interesting books, even more so perhaps this year because the Cup is...

The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo

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It’s a discouraging sign of the state of translated literature in this country that The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújoby Germano Almeida arrived here only after appearing in Spanish, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, and Swedish translations. The English...

June, 2010

From the Translator: Ross Benjamin on Translating Gunther Geltinger’s “Man Angel”

Translating an excerpt from Gunther Geltinger’s Mensch Engel for the June 2010 issue of Words Without Borders was a singular challenge. Geltinger stretches the limits of German syntax so as to capture the rhythm of the protagonist’s thoughts, memories and perceptions as they whir...

The Year of the Death of José Saramago

“We mourn the man whom death takes from us, and the loss of his miraculous talent and the grace of his human presence, but only the man do we mourn, for destiny endowed his spirit and creative powers with a mysterious beauty that cannot perish.” —from The Year of the Death...

Pride in Padua

Before you head out to your local pride parade, stop by Padua's, courtesy of Matteo Bianchi's "Maternal Pride." Bianchi's droll panorama captures both the teeming crowd and the individual stories within. Kylie Minogue fanatic Marco, still dizzy from having shared his water bottle with...

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