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Articles tagged "London, England"

The City and the Writer: In London with Hisham Matar

Special City Series / London   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 London as you...

Holding Pattern

I’m so uneasy with reality that I find planes comfortable. I surrender myself, resigned, to movies I don’t want to see and food I don’t want to eat, as if practicing a disciplined spiritual routine. A samurai with headphones and plastic knife. Suspended, my cell phone off, I enjoy the nirvana of having nothing to decide. That’s what flying is to me: a way to postpone the numbers that get through to me. The last call I got before take-off was from Clara. I was at...

The City and the Writer: In London with Esther Freud

Special City Series/London 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 London as you feel/see it? London...

The Red Loaf

Pluto Jedediah, dandy of the Caledonian Market, tells this tale: May dogs grow horns, I thought, waking on a bed in a seedy hotel, if I recall the creature for the sake of whose foot I found myself once again naked between soiled sheets. For there could be no other explanation. What other prey did I pursue through rain and darkness down dockside alleys, along sidewalks sown with rice, thick with wilted sediment from teapots, but one glimpsed beneath a raincoat’s glistening hem? A...

Mukhtar

When my mother asked me to spend the summer in her brothers’ house in the south, I employed every sophistry of my sixteen years—an age when only a mother pays attention to your budding philosophy of life—to explain to her that life forces surge northward, that the south, from which she and my father came, was becoming obsolete, that Ibn Khaldun (who had inspired this claim) was a great man, that the money could be better spent on a vacation, and that her brothers were...

Green Line

She has to get on the train. It’s not her choice, but there’s no way she can avoid it. Her brother and sister have made up their minds.The District Line from Stepney Green to London Victoria. And bussing it is out of the question, ’cause her brother’s never been on the tube and he’s really excited. As for her sister, an hour on the bus doesn’t appeal to her because there’s so much she wants to see and so little time. If you’ve been...

The City and the Writer: In London with Owen Hatherley

Special City Series/London 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   photo credit: Agata Pyzik Can you describe the mood of London as you feel/see it? The mood...

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...

Feminine Spirit, Unreconstructed

I first got to know Wang Jianan and Cai Xiaoli when I was in England. Wang Jianan can't stop talking, life in his mouth becomes a joke. Cai Xiaoli, on the other hand, hardly speaks at all, and doesn't spend much time contemplating life. She comes from an artist family and the only thing she cares about is her art; in dealing with people, she is totally straightforward. They graduated from the Fine Arts Academy at the same time, got married, and had a child. It is said that when...

The A to Z of Literary Translation

Whilst writing about English PEN's "Writers in Translation" committee, of which I am a member—tapping into my experiences as an editor, agent and publicist—the idea of doing a fun, but far from definitive listing, the A to Z Of Literary Translation, came to mind. oOo Artistry and adaptation are essential to the process of literary translation, since translation is an act of writing. Also accuracy and avoiding short cuts based on the íwhen in doubt, cut it outë...

Scots: The Auld an Nobill Tung

What is Scots? Is it Gaelic? A dialect of English? English with a Gaelic brogue? A hodgepodge of English and Gaelic? In fact, none of the above. Scots is "ane o the wee leids o Europe, ane o the leids o Scotlan, alang wi Gaelic an Suddron." Linguists consider it an autonomous West Germanic language, with its own dialects-Glesca, Aberdonian, Doric, Shetlandic, Orcadian, Black-Isle-and its own standard literary language, Lallans (Lowlands). Its closest relatives are English and Frisian....

from English Craft

The narrator is visiting London, sent by a Buenos Aires newspaper, to interview the famous British author Davies. She is haunted by a profound early friendship with Ana, and equally by a relationship from fifteen years before, with the artist Bruno. Here, two of the protagonists' lives come together again, while Ana persists in memory between them. The newspaper gave the story a splash. It was the first time that Davies had agreed to be interviewed for the Argentine press, and they...

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