At the recent NBCC Awards, the Dalkey Archive Press was given the Sandrof lifetime achievement award. Here’s some of William Gass’s thoughts on the subject:
These are books whose looks we can be proud of, and in translations, where that is required, of breathtaking skill and utter dedication, performed by virtuosos of their art. The Archive is an achievement only a determined traveling man could manage. John brings through customs books in every lingo, from – for us – remote parts of the world: Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Croatia, Idaho. Stateside novelists have known, since the Latin American writers shook us from our sleep in the sixties, that we were ignoramuses, but ignoramuses with an excuse: our arrogant, ignorant, self-absorbed nation cared only for the literature in our language, and if Canadian, not that. How could we have anticipated this continuing flood of competition?