2009 German Book Prize Shortlist

Via signandsight — who marvelously add links to English-language excerpts for each of the books! —here’s the equivalent of France’s Goncourt (though how equivalent it really is could only be settled by comparing the sales figures of the winners…) The German Book Prize is presented to the best German-language novel just before the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair as an annual award from the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels … Read more 2009 German Book Prize Shortlist

Two or Three Things that have come my Way

Recently came across a new online internationalist — thus translation — oriented magazine, Cerise Press, edited & published between the US and France. Check it out — I am of course immediately very taken by Charlotte Mandell’s translation of Abdelwahab Meddeb‘s The Stranger Across, but also fascinated by Tony Brinkley & Raina Kostova‘s translations of Osip Mandelshtam — to me, the most difficult of the Russian poets to bring … Read more Two or Three Things that have come my Way

Chinese writers defy book fair ban

Via Deutsche Welle, the opening paras of an article on how the organizers of the largest yearly bookfair, the Frankfurt Bookfair, caved in to the political demands of the Beijing government & how the writers reacted. You can read the complete article here. The Chinese government succeeded in getting them banned, but it seems it can’t stop them coming: Dissident writers Bei Ling and Dai Qing are preparing to … Read more Chinese writers defy book fair ban


DIASPORIC AVANT-GARDES Experimental Poetics and Cultural Displacement Edited by Carrie Noland and Barrett Watten Published by Palgrave Macmillan 288 pages / $90.00 – Hardcover (0-230-61629-1) 20% discount flyer available here: http://www.english.wayne.edu/fac_pages/ewatten/pdfs/diasporic%20avant-gardes.pdf Ask your librarian to order Diasporic Avant-Gardes! Diasporic Avant-Gardes draws into dialogue two differing traditions of poetic practice: the diasporic and the avant-garde. This interdisciplinary collection examines the unacknowledged affinities (and crucial differences) between avant-garde and diasporic formal … Read more DIASPORIC AVANT-GARDES

George Economou on C.P. Cavafy Translations

Some weeks ago, The New York Times Book Review published a review of recent translations of the Greek poet C.P. Cavafy. A rather sloppy job by someone who doesn’t in fact know Greek. The poet, translator & scholar George Economou sent a letter to the editor, critical of this (& other) reviews of Cavafy’s work in translation, which the Times did not deign publish. Economou’s points are well taken, … Read more George Economou on C.P. Cavafy Translations

Sunday Reads

Some Sunday morning reads (& an added game): JG Ballard’s last short story, The Dying Fall, just published by the Guardian, here. J.G. Ballard in 2007 There’s more pictures & writing on Ballard here. * If into French, check out Pierre Assouline’s Le Monde sponsored literary blog La République des livres here. I always find a couple wortwhile pieces to read there each week. Most recently an excellent piece on Pierre … Read more Sunday Reads

Olga Martynova on the Oberiuts

This essay was published last month by signandsight (the piece first appeared in German in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on February 17, 2007.) Only came across it now, but it is fascinating enough to want to post it here. Olga Martynova, born in 1962 in Dudinka (Siberia), grew up in Leningrad. She lives and works as poet and literary critic in Frankfurt am Main. Her book ” Rom liegt irgendwo … Read more Olga Martynova on the Oberiuts

Juan Goytisolo Wins Premio Nacional

For once I couldn’t be happier for a Literary prize winner: Juan Goytisolo is indeed the major Spanish writer of the last half-century. Treat yourself and read his 3-volume autobiography, starting with Count Julian and Marks of Identity. Tremendous writing! Juan Goytisolo Wins Spain’s National Prize for Literature MADRID — Writer Juan Goytisolo won on Monday the National Prize for Spanish Literature, one of Spain’s most prestigious awards. With … Read more Juan Goytisolo Wins Premio Nacional