Hey guys, it’s 2015. This blog first went online in 2004. In Internet time, that’s several geologic eras. In 2004, Google AdSense (and web advertising) barely existed, there was no Twitter or Facebook, Amazon was struggling for profitability (well, some things never change), and much of the mainstream press enjoyed stigmatizing this whole blog fad thing.
Anyway, point is, things are different now. The way the Internet exists has changed, and the way that I (and, I would guess, you) use the it is different. Also, I’m in a pretty different place in my life. I’ll spare you . . . continue reading, and add your comments
From Oulipian Frédéric Forte’s Minute-Operas, translated by Daniel Levin Becker, Ian Monk, Michelle Noteboom, and Jean-Jacques Poucel (more info here)
I emerge from the frigid depths of the winter holidays to offer you this link to an interview I conducted with the Guatemalan author Rodrigo Rey Rosa. It is part of a stellar all-translation issue of The White Review put together by Daniel Medin.
I began reading Rey Rosa in late 2013 when Chris Andrews’s translation of The African Shore arrived in English. That book is fantastic, and soon I had read everything else of Rey Rosa’s I could get my hands on.
Q THE WHITE REVIEW — Jorge Luis Borges is a major influence of . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Some love for two of my favorite journals at NPR.
From The White Review, a fantastic quarterly arts journal in print and online, to Electric Literature, which is known for its features, masterful interviews, and brilliant design, there is much to discover. Then there’s a personal favorite, Music & Literature — the brave new kid on the block, highlighting exciting writers and musicians we might otherwise never come across. Each issue is a gem, and especially useful for those interested in breaking their parochial American reading habits and looking more globally.
“The support of curious and ambitious . . . continue reading, and add your comments
This came out about a year ago, and I have a feeling I may have even linked to a review at The New Inquiry already, but, anyway, it’s worth another look.
This is an encyclopedic dictionary of close to 400 important philosophical, literary, and political terms and concepts that defy easy–or any–translation from one language and culture to another. Drawn from more than a dozen languages, terms such as Dasein (German), pravda (Russian), saudade (Portuguese), and stato (Italian) are thoroughly examined in all their cross-linguistic and cross-cultural complexities. Spanning the classical, medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Verso ebooks are 90% (yes NINETY PERCENT) off until Jan 1. But a few. Like some Franco Moretti, or some ZIZEK, or this fascinating book about Anonymous, or Simon Critchley.
If you don’t eread, the print books are 50% off and free shipping worldwide.
So, wow, if you can’t find something to enjoy there you might be on the wrong blog.
I’d just like to make a year-end plug to ask that if you value this site, the please contribute a little toward shoring up my bottom line. You can do this very easily at PayPal.
Basically, I’m asking because the way you make money online these days is by generating lots of clickbait, writing pandering headlines designed to go viral, and generally specializing in the sort of lowest-common-denominator content that is irrelevant to anyone’s life and leaves your head as soon as it has entered it. You certainly don’t do it by writing about obscure and esoteric . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Lila by Marilynne Robinson This isn’t my favorite Marilynne Robinson book by a long shot, but even not-the-best Marilynne Robinson is waaaayy ahead of most books out there.
Red or Dead by David Peace Very few books make me want to stand up and yell and start building shit. This is one of them.
The Art of Flight by Sergio Pitol Not actually published yet (March 2015), I read this book while editing the translation. It is mostly awesome and makes me realize how badly the English language has missed Sergio Pitol.
Suspended Sentences . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The NYRB should really get this guy to review Jonathan Franzen’s Purity.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North has the scope of a big and ambitious novel. It was surely a difficult book to write, covering so much in terms of time, geography, cultures, destinies and outcomes: both an important but difficult piece of Australian history (brave, but also inglorious), and a fictional account, to boot, of the experience of Flanagan’s father, who, as one read in the press, died on the very day the book was completed. (It is said there is nothing of which . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Just published by Text Publishing.
J.M. Coetzee swims strongly against the ebbing tide. Not only has Text Publishing brought out his new collection, it is an expensively produced hardback in pale blue with elegant gilt lettering. That is unusual enough, but more extraordinarily there are only three stories, none of them lengthy – the book totals 71 pages, with a large, generously laid-out typeface. All were written between 2000 and 2003, the most recent being a tale he read aloud at the ceremony when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.