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Articles tagged "From 2000 To Present"

mopete has read thomas mann

and so mopete has stopped in a bewitched interval of his soul, for him as if on a magic mountain where it's snowing everywhere, while many just sit and gaze out the window, boring themselves, idly elaborating theories about time. you can travel the well-worn path from the rooms on the ground floor— the dining room, for instance—to the rooms with numbers on the door where, from the terrace, you can admire the noble stillness of snow in the valley. and so mopete...

mopete and uniqueness

mopete, listening as a friend of his quotes wassily kandinsky, has a strange vision, a figment of his solitude—an ancient hypostasis, blotches without a trace of reality thrown upon the canvas on which, however, young nefa shines. young nefa: she is now very much not here—mopete will never invoke her name again. there seems to be nothing good in store for mopete. it's a desert, sort of, through which he keeps trudging on and on. right above his head, the...

deep meditation

vasilescu's father's friend has left the seaside to go to a monastery in the north. there in the mountains he wants to empty his mind of thought until it comes to entertain a notion of that provisional shadow cast by conscience, with its bitter residue of worldly time, like fruit kernels that pile up in a heap and make him count them, so that, here among the hills, he no longer can keep straight whether this evening is for real, or whether that tree elongated in shadow...

holiday pleasures

vasilescu's father's friend is playing with a beach ball. tentatively, he throws it toward the sea, gathers it in the shadow cast by his body, not minding the waves at his feet now breaking against the shingle. bandages of comfort unroll around him, around the wound of his thoughts open to the sun. after dinner he withdraws and, sitting in the shade, meditates. he reflects to himself that where this soon will have led, now that he's reached the limit, must be the sun...

the introduction of vasilescu’s father’s friend

mopete went to the theatre today. he took a girl, and vasilescu's father's friend saw him—called hello to him, too—mopete threw a meaningful, if too obvious glance at the girl beside him, and with a fixed look walked right by. the play proved to be of great interest. the girl at mopete's side—she wasn't young nefa—listened totally absorbed. mopete said to himself—now he'll have turned round to look at you—and put on an...

The Necessity of Choosing

Miriam Shlesinger's essay was included in the accompanying booklet to WWB's March 5th event at the Idlewild bookstore in New York City. It is also part of our month-long discussion of Etgar Keret's Girl on the Fridge. You can find links to other essays in this series at the bottom of the page.—Editors From the point of view of the translator at any moment of his work, translating is a decision process—a series of consecutive situations—moves, as in a...

Spring

Spring this year arrived as clean as if in its Sunday best, and we felt embarrassed that we were still in our work clothes, our hands unwashed, with the dog in the barnyard mangy and shedding. And we didn't know whom to blame, Spring or ourselves, for being out of step. Beauty, says the old schoolteacher, should arrive unexpected, and cause a little discomfort. Translation of an untitled poem in the series "Maijs" [May] in Poēma par pienu [Poem of Milk]....

Crow

I learned the lines of this noun one bright day in the classroom. That evening I saw its black wings detach from the sky and descend in circles like a parachute toward us, my sister and me, to cover our bodies. Oh, my sister came out from under the walnut tree that stood in the yard, slowly, carefully walking into her bedroom, right into the mouth of a giant crow. Later, far from home, among demolished houses, on my heart's wall, I saw a squadron of crows suddenly take...

December 2nd, 1997, at Night

A blizzard lures us toward Poland, bringing us almost to the border. We should have turned north at Dresden, instead headed due East, to halt in open farmland whose sound is the lightest of rumbles. Later, filling up in a prison town, I realize we never noticed the Chopin on the radio. Read the author's "Sinologist"

The Sinologist

To leave the airport is to feel you've got off at the wrong stop. Where are the pavilions to drink rice wine in, the suburbs of love, the policemen using their rifles to lift skirts up with, the student to say that all books are useless? But when a first round of skittles is finished, one player tells the other: Disputed decisions shouldn't spoil our sauna. All evening long they try to beat each other at losing. How disturbing that grief of incomprehension must...

The Five O’Clock Graveyard

If we sit side by side now, and say nothing for a whole half hour, and you say only that we get on fine without words, and you move away a little, for a good look at the grave almost opposite us, and you roll your eyes at me, because the dead are not to be laughed at, and you'll sit alone on the bench I'm sitting on, I'll be opposite you, opposite you, lying prone. Read the author's "Made in the Rain"

The Well is Someone’s Home

each time i dig into the well i never reach the bottom. i pass endless broken fragments of age. my breath is too short to climb all the way down, and my gaze too blind to fathom the top. hundreds of prayers fall to earth turning into songs among the barely audible bells. i call to myself as i disappear in thick dreams. i answer in restless whispers. painful moans write a biography of torn wounds for the scattering sands. have i dug so far and deep? only so that my womb can preserve a...

Womb

My name is Nagari. Thirty years of age. There is no need to explain; I understand. . . . That evening, after my bath, my hair still wet, I heard a pounding on the door of my rented room. Three men had come to pick me up. From the sight of the jeep waiting out front; from the low hum of its engine, as light as the evening air; and from their voices,  polite but firm, I knew what was happening. The three men took me to a cold building with slippery  floors. A long corridor...

Natasha Wimmer on Roberto Bolaño’s “2666”

This essay was originally featured in the brochure for Natasha Wimmer and Francisco Goldman's December 4, 2008 discussion of Roberto Bolaño's 2666, held at the Idlewild bookstore in New York City. Francisco Goldman's essay can be found here—Editors I'm often asked what challenges I faced in translating 2666. I should say first of all that, despite appearances, 2666 was not impossibly hard to translate. In many ways, it was easier than The Savage Detectives;...

Francisco Goldman on Roberto Bolaño’s “2666”

This essay was originally featured in the accompanying booklet to Francisco Goldman and Natasha Wimmer's December 4, 2008 discussion of Roberto Bolaño's 2666, held at the Idlewild bookstore in New York City. Natasha Wimmer's essay can be found here—Editors The first Roberto Bolaño novel I read was Estrella Distante. It was Aura's copy and we were at the beach in Mazunte, and I read it pretty much in one sitting, with a few breaks to go in the water....

Sweating and Swearing in “Clash of Civilizations”

In the opening chapter of Amara Lakhous's gritty mosaic, Clash of Civilizations over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio, Parviz Mansoor interrupts his rambling monologue to comment on the way language is used by the nosy doorwoman, Benedetta: Guaglio' is Benedetta's favorite word. As you know, guaglio' means "fuck" in Neapolitan. At least, that's what a lot of Neapolitans I've worked with have told me. Every time she sees me head for the elevator she starts...

Speaks about “Clash of Civilizations”

"Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio" could be called a book about translation. It's the story of people from different cultures trying to live together in one place—a country, a city, a square, an apartment building, an elevator, even. Different customs, different languages, different foods. It takes place in Rome, in the neighborhood around Piazza Vittorio, where immigrants from all over the world have settled; the dominant culture, the host, so to...

An Introduction to Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio

"Doesn't make any difference who we are or what we are," a cholera germ announces in one of Twain's stories, "there's always somebody to look down on!" No recent novel illustrates the truth of this axiom with more precision, intelligence, and humor than Amara Lakhous's Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio, which is exactly what the title promises, except better. It's a satirical but not unsympathetic examination of the events leading up to a murder...

Tunnel

The roads I walked didn't tire me, the plans I formed to kill myself didn't work, I did not diminish one bit, I did not increase I forgot the night I died in your nakedness. I found myself like an inner pain I neither escaped from your murder nor died there was blood around, it felt cold, desolate . . . Carrying a tunnel's wind-rush in me I passed through the agony, throughout the road, in time's fragments they reckoned me a shiver and yet, except for a...

Water

I won't talk anymore, I won't say harsh words in the morning for a dream I embroider a flower of pearl on my bosom. I never knew, what you understood from my words, I spoke the forest's frightfulness the plain's tranquility silenced you slept a long sleep, I saw the dream. Unceasingly I spoke of a path: I'm water, I didn't forget my name I spoke of a mountain I came across while wandering; I didn't meddle with the world's affairs, the world does not...

“BE HERE NOW”: An Introduction to “Yalo”

"How can I describe to you what happened to Yalo…the truth, sir, the truth that only God knows, is that my memory is distorted and I don't know." Yalo takes place during Beirut's 1975 Civil War, as well as its prologue and its aftermath. After years of occupation by the Ottoman Turks and the French, ending during WWII, and a series of governments through the 50s and the 60s, the civil war of the 70s was a bloodbath crush; a larger war filled with volatile, small...

on Translating “Yalo”

Drake Stutesman: Yalo is interesting for the various different voices that it employs, and the ways in which it combines vernaculars, languages and perspectives into a single narrative. What do you think this multitude of elements points to, and how did you work to incorporate them into the English text? Peter Theroux: Yalo is remarkable among Arabic novels for the way Khoury lets his characters speak naturally. He definitely belongs to a new wave of Arab novelists who treat Arabic as...

Esterházy Per Se: A Translator’s Ball Game with a Postmodern Author

Just as there are user-friendly computers (they don't delete your latest text when you didn't mean to press the delete button, a dream!), user-friendly ovens (they ring when the roast is ready), and user-friendly scissors (left-handed!), so there are translator-friendly authors. And then, again, not. Some authors thumb their noses at the difficulties they are creating for the translator, and they are right to do so; their job is to write, the translator's is to translate. And...

The A to Z of Literary Translation: W, X, Y & Z

Worldwide web development and the long-tail phenomenon offer new opportunities for the visibility of literary translation. Electronic translation software is to be avoided. Postcolonial and new immigrant writing benefit from cross-frontier digital exchange. And lesser known cultures and languages can become more familiar to wider audiences—Ala Al Aswany's runaway seller The Yacoubian Building (translated by Humphrey Davies), comes to mind.   Xenophobia feeds off ignorance...

The Rooms Aren’t What They Appear to Be

The rooms aren't what they appear to be nor are they the sum of what they seem. What comes clear is their daily record of contact: from the contours that rooms impress on objects and that objects briefly lend to rooms. From the changeable features they share. They know themselves, define themselves at those borders, as at a mirror's edge: that thin feeling that sews space to solidity, that severs and couples it in a ceaseless drafting. Translations of...

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