Been a while since I read Crime and Punishment. Sounds interesting.
Several earlier translations tended to smooth over Dostoevsky’s stylistic peculiarities, robbing the novel of the unique, jagged tone and nervous repetitions that best represent Raskolnikov’s anxious state. Ready sought to preserve these lexical peculiarities of Dostoevsky’s language in his own work, while also trying to maintain the novel’s hypnotic and compelling power. In doing so, he inevitably stumbled on some unique features of Russian that are very hard to reproduce in English.
“All those particles and adverbs, often denoting elusive emotions and emphasis rather than . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The current issue of the Golden Handcuffs Review has my essay “The Eclipse; Or, The Vulva,” which is part of a series of work based in the novels of Walter Abish. Plus there’s an interview with Joseph McElroy, a new translation by Harry Mathews, poetry by Rae Armentrout, and a whole bunch of other stuff. So, you know. consider buying the issue.
While I tend to lump blockbusters into an outlier category regardless of what language they were originally written in, I do think that there’s something to the fact that people will increasingly bandwagon on books not written in English. Michael Orthofer correctly observes that there’s still a way to go before we get back to what would in prior times be considered a moderate amount of interest in translated literature, but there does seem to be some reason for optimism. People aren’t quite as weirded out by foreign literature as they once were. Anglos, in general, . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Nice that there are still places like the LRB that publish things like this:
By the time he was elected to the Académie française in 2004, Alain Robbe-Grillet had suffered a cruel fate: he had all the renown he could have hoped for but few readers to show for it. The literary movement he’d launched half a century earlier – the nouveau roman – had ground to a halt. The new novel – anti-psychological and anti-expressive, stripped of individualised characters, temporal continuity and meaning itself – was no longer new. Like the total serialism championed by his . . . continue reading, and add your comments
This is the first review I’ve read of the new Murakami book. My feeling is that Nathaniel Rich, representing The Atlantic’s point of view, could have done a lot better. Essentially, it reads to me like a bunch of clichés about Murakami’s writing, minus any actual critical judgment about this book, or any deep insight into how this book feels or works. To wit:
Yet we’re undeniably in Murakamiland. Nobody else could have written this novel, or dared to try. Then again, given the remarkable continuity of his fiction, nearly every Murakami novel feels like a . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Bae Suah is one of the more astonishing authors I’ve discovered lately. So when I saw that an essays of hers on Sebald had been translated, I wanted to read it.
It was After Nature that got me hooked on Sebald. I opened the wings of the altarpiece that was Sebald himself and entered the world I found there, that world that had initially seemed as inscrutable as the man. Even now, it seems as though I’ve forgotten to go back to the world I’d known before. I discovered that for certain people, time is divided . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Thanks to Michael Orthofer for this blast from the past. In his look back through the days of yore for various literary websites, it’s nice of Michael to include The Quarterly Conversation among the sites that have “moved up in the world.” Although it’s a little fuzzy now, I still remember those old Typepad days, as well as when I used to code each page of the site by hand in a text editor. Ahh, the memories, which reminds me, the site is due for an update one of these days . . .
The writing on this is horrifyingly bad, but there is some interesting information here about the things David Foster Wallace wrote in books he read.
Daniel Mendelsohn’s introduction to the NYRB Classics’ reissue of Augustus is now available online as part of the Aug 14 issue of the New York Review.
If you’re a fan of Williams, this book will seem different in some interesting ways. It’s much more obviously postmodern, in the sense that it’s a bit of a fantasia constructed on the life of a historical figure, and it takes place completely via fake historical documents (letters, diaries, etc) that Williams creates entirely. The preoccupations are the same, however, except perhaps that this book is much more interested in . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I don’t expect The New York Times to have mastered the minutia of every single topic on earth, but it would be nice if the paper of record managed to correct the most glaring errors in this profile.
Here’s a hint of where to start:
That is not to say that Mr. Krasznahorkai is an easy read. He writes sentences that can go on for pages and pages: “The Melancholy of Resistance,” in which a bizarre circus wanders into yet another small town in the dead of winter, toting a gigantic stuffed whale, consists of a . . . continue reading, and add your comments