Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Work"

O. Cuniculi

A rabbit. He turned at the sound of rustling in the bushes and spotted a ball of white fluff. What he’d mistaken for a white dog was staring at him with red eyes. He wouldn’t have known it was a rabbit if not for the eyes. He knelt before it. The eyes held him captive. As he gazed into them, relief at the thought that he was not the only one in this world with eyes red from exhaustion washed over him, and he chafed to think such a being had been stranded in an unlit park for...

four creaking wheels

Two middle-aged women, who do the paper-route, drag the cart beside them along the ice-covered sidewalk, silent beneath the hoods of their anoraks. They remind me of passengers hauling their luggage, looking for the exit in a gigantic, deserted airport. Aside from the creaking of the cart, nothing can be heard except the droning of the air-conditioning system at St. Joseph’s Hospital, or perhaps they’re kindling the ovens at the crematorium. It’s been busy since the...

Hate

—That makes exactly four kilos. When she heard these words a smile spread across her lips and she looked at her little son… The shopkeeper kept talking: —Sister, take this money…it’s eight rupees. Once again she reached out her hand from her chador and took the money handed over by the shopkeeper. In the afternoon sun, she set off in a hurry toward her home. She walked in haste and held her little son’s hand tightly.  Her grip was so firm...

The Spectacle

It was late in the evening when he came home. His wife sat on the veranda in front of the house, and he approached their sick five-year-old son who was lying on a bed. He took off his shawl, and as he wiped his head and short beard clean, he asked her how everything was with Bari. His wife, close to tears, answered: —His fever is still high. He is very weak and has been lying there all day. He has no appetite either, I gave him soup a couple of times but he wouldn't eat it....

The Bather

For more than ten years, Olga had been bathing people in their homes. She didn’t earn a fortune, but she lived comfortably.  Her taxes were paid and her refrigerator was full. She even had enough for a movie once or twice a week, and every summer she could afford to take a two-week vacation to visit her sister in Entre Ríos.  Most important of all: she didn’t have to worry about the competition. Nobody else wanted to get involved in the home-bathing business....

Boutique Cinderella

“Boutique Cinderella” had a stuffed pigeon in the window with its beak stuck into a pile of grain on the windowsill, and a female torso wrapped in a silk Dior peignoir; the designer could be read on the label sewn on the hem of the discreetly opened skirt. With its lace insets, the peignoir looked like a wedding gown. There was nothing on it that would make you conclude that it was used clothing, though a cardboard sign in the lower left corner of the display announced,...

from “The Final Cut”

The four of them dragged the pig on the short ladder and lifted it onto the trestles in front of the sty. Their teeth clenched, the three men watched the woman, Diana Kampradt, the butcher.  “The stove door,” she instructed Sabine in the washhouse, “leave it ajar, so that there’s a draft, small pieces of wood, really get the steam going and keep on adding water, so that it doesn’t boil.” Outside, the butcher poured a bucket of cold water over...

from “Kumait”

He couldn’t help but see the school; from the time he had left the bus at the township’s station, he had never thought of going any other way. His feet felt at home on the township’s roads. So be it. Why should he take any other route? When he drew near the school, he paused opposite it, turning his back to the river. A giant willow tree rose from the center of the school’s courtyard. He really didn’t want any of the township’s residents to spot him,...

Landscape with Strikers

At nine a.m. the few people standing around on the subway platform are watching the news on the screens provided by the Barcelona Channel. The trains comply scrupulously with the minimum-service laws. They are running half-empty and many seats are unoccupied, which would be unthinkable at this time of day any other day, when occupancy approaches that of sardines in a can. In front of the Goya Theater, at the top of Joaquín Costa, there are fewer whores than usual. Perhaps in...

Borges’s Secretary

I don’t know when she discovered that I could no longer see.  Not even I had completely discerned this; I would look at books and judged that I could still see the pages, read them, understand them.  She, knowing the truth, was already devising her plan.  The process of distancing myself from books lasted many years.  And yet I felt closer and closer to them.  I read less each day, but since I worked in a library, I could feel them, smell them, leaf through...

Slow Freight

Are we poor, Dad? Yes, Son, we’re poor. Not very. But poor enough. Why are we poor, Dad? I don’t know. Become somebody took it? Took what? I don’t know. Tibi Kárász said we’re so poor, at our house the mice die of hunger pangs. Tibi Kárász doesn’t know shit. He also said I’m so scrawny, when I blink, the skin slides off my glans. Tell Tibi Kárász I’m gonna kick his ass. And I’m...

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 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...

from “Serve the People!”

The novel is the only place for a great many of life's truths. Because it is only in fiction that certain facts can be held up to the light. The novel it is, then, for this particular truth. The story I'm about to tell, you see, bears some resemblance to real characters and events. Or—if I may put it this way: life has imitated art, re-rehearsing the plot of Serve the People! Wu Dawang, Sergeant of the Catering Squad, now General Orderly for the Division Commander and...

Encounter

I have a feeling that it is a mistake to go to the party at Mr. M.'s, especially under the circumstances. Things have tightened up once more. Again scarves have to be pulled down all the way to the eyebrows and legs covered in thick, black stockings. Again the loose-fitting, ankle-length smocks have to be worn. They are once again slashing women's bare legs with razors and shaving the heads of young boys or publicly flogging them in city squares. And yet no one is really scared or...

The Man Who Sold His Shadow

Here's a question we all ask ourselves at least once when we're young: Where does that starlight come from? It's been there before I was born, and before my grandmother, and her grandmother were born. So just how far is that star from Earth? The curiosity of children is insatiable. They'll grab a flashlight and aim it at the stars and think, This light will get there someday, won't it? When I'm dead, and my grandchildren are gone, and their grandchildren as well....

from Wasted Morning

Strada Coriolan She treads carefully on the uneven stones in the yard, which are still coated with morning frost. Her swollen feet are painful, even though she rubbed some alcohol on them last night and has put on thick woollen stockings. The weather seems to be turning. Dizzy from the cold air, she stops for a moment to catch her breath, takes from her pocket a right hand half-coiled inside a glove fraying at the fingertips, and supports herself against a dilapidated shutter. Rust and...

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.