Dan Green on The Sea-God’s Herb: Reviews and Essays:
Domini frames his argument by beginning with an essay from 2010, “Against the ‘Impossible to Explain,’” that makes a more general case that literary criticism “just hasn’t been doing its job” in grappling with adventurous fiction, either largely ignoring it or repeating the canard that it is too far removed from readers’ common experience. The latter complaint seems especially objectionable to Domini, who uses the bulk of the essay to look at the work of three writers who exemplify his contention that postmodern fiction does have “a . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Open Letter Books’ tribute to Michael Henry Heim, The Man Between: Michael Henry Heim and a Life in Translation, looks like a really fantastic book.
The Man Between is, as Sean Cotter writes in his Introduction, “not a Festschrift, but a conversation”, with and about eminent translator Michael Henry Heim (who passed away in 2012). The polyglot Heim translated from German, French, and a variety of eastern European languages, but was also an important figure in the teaching of translation, and in working towards a better understanding of its significance, both in the academy and outside; . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The moment you’ve all been waiting for.
I don’t know that I’d call this a biography. It sounds more like criticism that someone was able to cleverly sell to Bloomsbury (and the Times) as a biography.
Apart from a two-hour interview that took place in Mr. Franzen’s apartment, Mr. Weinstein said he would be relying on Mr. Franzen’s published autobiographical essays for details about his personal life. He also plans to include an analysis of Mr. Franzen’s next novel, a work in progress.
While I would agree with the reasons put forward in this article, I do think the author is missing one very simple explanation: monkey see, monkey do. If you’re in an environment where the people around you are constantly adopting certain usages, and if a sizable portion of your reading is saturated with certain kinds of recurring locutions and grammatical tics, then you’re going to start bringing those into your own prose, whether you like it or not.
This, incidentally, is one of the best arguments for consistently integrating amazing prose into your reading stacks: it makes . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Music & Literature has revealed the table of contents for Issue 5, and it is pretty awesome. Have a look.
If you don’t know M&L’s deal, the idea is that they pick 3 artists/authors/musicians for each issue and create in-depth folios of writing around their work. Said folios also include original work from the subjects themselves. It’s extremely impressive to see the level of contributors and collaborators that M&L has managed to tap in just over two years of existence as a journal.
In Issue 5, the foci are Kaija Saariaho, Can Xue, and Stig Sæterbakken, the . . . continue reading, and add your comments
It’s that time of year again.
I tend to think that the speculation is pretty pointless, since it always ends up that Haruki Murakami and XXXX (the past few years it’s been Ngugi wa Thiong’o) are the odds-on favorites for about 4 months, until the last 6 hours or so, when there’s a sudden break toward the eventual winner, who is somebody nobody ever guessed would win the prize. But it’s still fun.
Laszlo Krasznahorkai is nowhere to be seen in the betting pools, which is a bit of a surprise. Surely his profile has been rising, . . . continue reading, and add your comments
One of the cool things about Cortázar is that there is still a lot of him untranslated. So you can find out that things like this exist:
Fantômas, the creation of Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre (in their 1911 novel and then dozens of sequels), was appropriated and re-imagined in the Mexican comic-books series, Fantomas, la amenaza elegante. Issue 201 of the comic book-series, La inteligencia en llamas, finds Fantomas battling a plot to destroy all the books in the world — Operation ‘Gabriel’s Sword’. Part of the story has Fantomas calling on leading intellectual lights of . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Nice response from Jon Baskin at The Point to AO Scott’s recent essay (and the many responses thereto).
Jon spends a good deal of his time deconstructing the fact that even though Scott opens his essay with a sweeping and provocative statement, he spends the bulk of his essay hedging on that stance and worrying about whether he can even make a statement like that.
And I think this points to two kinds of critics. You have the critics like Scott, who are very good at reacting to new books and films, and who can usually . . . continue reading, and add your comments
My piece covering two new translations of books by Marcos Giralt Torrente—Paris and Father and Son: A Lifetime—has just been published at The B&N Review.
Giralt has been one of my key discoveries of recent years, and you all should read him. He’s a Spaniard in the tradition of Marías.
In 1998 Roberto Bolaño cemented his place as a leading writer of his generation when he received the prestigious Herralde Prize for his novel The Savage Detectives. In the next year he helped to launch a career with that same Herralde Prize: Bolaño was one of five . . . continue reading, and add your comments