The journal Anomalous has published an all-Oulipo issue. While not members of the Oulipo, the contributors have used constraint to shape their contributions to the issue. Here are the rules:
10 cards chosen at random each correspond to a word, use them in the order they were drawn, connect them by whatever means necessary. Our authors unmoored their lonely boats and sailed off into possibility, Sharpie-ing out Wikipedia pages, purchasing desk plants to increase productivity, drinking bottles of water to stay hydrated as they added constraint after constraint to their sweaty barbells. So settle into your nest of . . . continue reading, and add your comments
A head’s-up about the forthcoming release of Time Ages in a Hurry by Antonio Tabucchi (currently April 14, 2015). There are reviews at Kirkus and Publishers Weekly and an excerpt at Guernica.
I feel like Tabucchi could stand to have more coverage in English. As the Complete Review shows, his books have been translated for some time, and lately there has been new energy around him, as a lot of his titles have been re-issued or re-translated in the past years, and will continue to be appearing down the line. While he has . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Wow, everything about this review of Silvina Ocampo’s Thus Were Their Faces just makes me want to cry. And I do mean everything, from the beyond clichéd title to pretty much everything the critic tries to say about this book.
There are various circles of hell for bad critics. There’s the “criticized this lasagne for not being a chicken sandwich,” when a critic takes a book to task for not doing something it never wanted to do. There’s the “talks about him/herself instead of the book.” And then there’s what I think is the greatest sin of . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Ever since its first publication in 1934, Miklós Szentkuthy’s Prae has continued to baffle generations of critics and readers alike. Regarded as a seminal work by some, dismissed as a pretentious monstrosity by others, Prae, Szentkuthy’s first work, was published when the Hungarian author was merely twenty-six years old. To date, the book has never been translated in its entirety into any language, though excerpts appeared in French and Serbo-Croatian in the 1970s, and sections had been translated . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The Dream of My Return by Horacio Castellanos Moya publishes today.
After a quick browse through this, the latest of Horacio Castellanos Moya novels, I’m thinking this might be the best Moya novel to hit the English language since Senselessness. I’ve been a fan of some of the Moyas to appear in the wake of Senselessness, but none of them has really had quite the power and cohesion of that book. This one might be it.
In addition to being Moya’s latest novel in English, it is his latest novel, period, and (I . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I’ve been working my way through Elena Ferrante’s three translated Neapolitan novels for an interview with editor Michael Reynolds and translator Ann Goldstein, and some things are beginning to crystallize in my mind.
I think one of the things that makes these books fascinating is how Ferrante is able to make her narrator, Lenú, into a sort of Levi Strauss-ian anthropologist of her world; namely, Italy’s South during the ’50s and ’60s. No doubt that much of the success of these books also rests in the fact that this world is one that has been the source of . . . continue reading, and add your comments
A few things of mine that have run lately.
1. An interview with Jeremy Davies, author of the new novel Fancy and editor with Dalkey Archive Press.
2. An audio interview with Karen Emmerich on Greek literature and her experiences translating it.
3. The Greatest Unreliable Narrator Ever?
4. The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology
I love the classics, so it’s fantastic to see NYRB releasing a new translation of Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound, translated and with an introduction by Joel Agee.
Pretty fantastic stuff:
Prometheus Bound is the starkest and strangest of the classic Greek tragedies, a play in which god and man are presented as radically, irreconcilably at odds. It begins with the shock of hammer blows as the Titan Prometheus is shackled to a rock in the Caucasus. This is his punishment for giving the gift of fire to humankind and for thwarting Zeus’s decision to exterminate the human race. . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I wanted to throw a little attention toward Adventures In Immediate Irreality by Max Blecher. I haven’t had time to read this book yet, but I’m going to. It has a lot going for it—first of all, Daniel Medin speaks highly of it, which is a high endorsement. Secondly, it is the final book to be translated by the late Michael Henry Heim, which makes it very much of note.
And check out this biography:
Max Blecher’s father was a successful Jewish merchant and the owner of a porcelain shop. Blecher attended primary and secondary school in . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I’m a little bit intrigued by Stephen Marche’s idea that some books can hold up to being read 100 times or more. This seems like something I’m dangerously close to actually attempting. Although, this could make for a strange project—at 3 reads per year, this would take 34 years. Even at a rather brisk 10 reads per year, that would still be 10 years—not exactly insignificant. What if 5 years in you decided that this book didn’t actually hold up to 100 reads?
I’m curious to know which books you all would actually try this with. Keep in . . . continue reading, and add your comments