27 October 2006


Scott Esposito on Richard Powers:
But if in Powers we lose a sense of mystery, we gain a sense of wonder. One of the most striking aspects of a Powers novel is the sense of genuine amazement at the natural world that the reader is left with. This is no small achievement tn an era in which it is often remarked that space shuttle flights are no longer televised because they have become so commonplace, so banal. Powers reveals a very real, very necessary awe at science and nature. This is no preachy exercise, no citing of facts and figures; it is something that is communicated through the stories and metaphors, something that takes hold of you as you read without Powers needing to lay it out for you. It is humbling, which I believe is exactly Powers's point, to re-instill a needed sense of humility as humans gain truly God-like powers over their environment. This is something that neither Pynchon nor DeLillo does, something I think only a Richard Powers could do.
Excellent observation. I think this is one of the reasons I enjoy his novels so much--I come away with a very Chestertonian sense of wonder.

26 October 2006

Of lightning and lightning bugs

As Mark Twain famously quipped, "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter--’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning."

Margaret Jull Costa (translator of books by José Saramago, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Luis Fernando Verissimo, Javier Marías, Ramón del Valle-Inclán, and Fernando Pessoa) offers a fascinating translation exercise, based on one of my favorite passages of Pessoa's:
Pasmo sempre quando acabo qualquer coisa. Pasmo e desolo-me. O meu instinto de perfeição deveria inhibir-me de acabar; deveria inhibir-me de dar começo. Mas distraio-me e faço. O que consigo é um produto, em mim, não de uma aplicação da vontade, mas de uma cedência dela. Começo porque não tenho força para pensar; acabo porque não tenho alma oara suspender. Este livro é a minha cobardia.
She offers a literal translation (for those of us who don't speak Portuguese), with multiple word-choice options, and asks:
How will you translate 'alma' - 'soul' 'heart', 'courage', 'guts'? What should you do with the last sentence?

Read your finished version of the whole text out loud. Does the language flow, does it have the right cadence and rhythm?

Are there any awkward juxtapositions of sounds or unnecessary repetitions of words?
What can you come up with?

After a brief discussion on the points raised, she offers some final thoughts:
What I hope this workshop has made clear is that while there is no single correct translation or version of a text, that certainly does not mean that any translation will do. Translation is always a balancing act between faithfulness to letter and faithfulness to spirit. You have to understand what the author means not only at the level of denotation, but also of connotation. You have to be aware of the sound of words and their register, as well as the rhythm and sound of the sentence in the translated version, so that the finished product is as cogent, fluent and convincing in the new language as it is in the original.

24 October 2006

When fidelity is treasonous

Don Paterson's brief piece on translating Rilke explains,
The one thing a poet must avoid, however, is pretending that both the meaning and the music of the original poem can be carried into the new language. Because a poem works on the heretical principle that sound and sense are the same thing, a poem is locked for ever in its original form. The poem's effect, which is all there is of it, can no more be "translated" than can a piece of music.

Yet we are compelled to seek some new incarnation for foreign poems in our own language. The two main strategies are the "translation" and the "version". In the translation, you work on accurately representing the words and their systems of relations; here, the integrity of the means (your skill and qualifications as a translator, say) justify the end. In the version, you work on representing the poem's idea and "spirit"; here, the integrity of the end (your inner conviction that this somehow "captures the vibe" of the original) justifies the means. A translation mirrors the original and stands alongside it; but a version tries to be a new, free-standing poem in its own right. In order to achieve that level of semantic and musical integration, it has, at some point, to forget the original and complete the course on its own.
As frightening a prospect as this sounds, it does make a lot of sense. I'm willing to admit that my predisposition has always been to the more "literal" side, but perhaps I owe this to a somewhat Romantic notion of authorial inspiration? That is, the closer something sticks to the literal meaning, the closer we are to authorial intent. But is this merely an almost mystical trust in the efficacy of words? (Especially as Paterson himself admits that Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus "appear to have been less composed than dictated to the German poet - as if they had been sitting around elsewhere, waiting for someone to channel them into speech. In an earlier time, we would have had no trouble in describing the Sonnets - in their oracularity and their visionary power - as a prophetic work.") On the other hand, I'm beginning to see such an attitude as exhibiting a lack of trust: authorial intent is far from the only issue that must be examined when analyzing a work of literature.

Meanwhile, Bud comments on this other excellent article and explains how "even reading in your own language is a translation":
What is translation if not an interpretation? Once we think in those terms, we've opened the door for the sometimes less than literal result of different translations over time. [...]

If I read a book in English (the only language I can read in) and I look up a word, aren't I then imposing Mr. Webster's and my own meaning on that word and therefore the author's intent? [...]

The best analogy comes from music - a performance of a symphony is a translation of a composer's music (often with the help of notes, either latin notation or annotations). At one level each conductor's music may sound the same - ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta (can't you tell, that's Ode to Joy), but listening more closely, changes in timing or tone (not to mention possible reinstrumentation) can make the music sound quite different.
Angel Gurria-Quintana (in the article Bud quotes) points out the interesting dichotomy between "clarity" and "precision," ultimately deciding that
In the best literature, form is substance. Similarly with translations. Puritans may take issue, but it is undoubtedly a translation’s beauty - rather than its careful imitation of an original - that finally nudges it across the language barrier and enhances the pleasure it provides. Even if translation is treason, it is a necessary form of treachery on which readers of world literature depend.
Interestingly, it's my father (a native Spanish-speaker) who has opened up my mind to the reason clarity *must* supercede precision in a translation. Communication doesn't always have to indicate a loss of fidelity. Literalism (whether it be whimsical or heavy-handed) is ultimately more about not offending the author than it is about fully serving the work. And if fidelity means putting the essence (or meaning) of a work in second place, who or what is actually being betrayed?

And last--but far from least!--Jeff announces that The Unbearable Lightness of Being is finally (!!) being released in the Czech Republic. (I somehow think that a retranslation into English is now called-for...although that might take another ten years!)

(The two articles came via The Literary Saloon and were posted on my birthday. I'll take that as a nod that I'm heading in the right direction...)

16 October 2006


My last post was about Jealousy, but this one is about envy.

Today marks the beginning of the Echo Maker Roundtable #1 over at Ed's. Looks like it's going to turn out to be an incredible discussion, with Powers himself joining in on Friday.

Also, the Litblog Co-op has chosen their Autumn selection (which looks fascinating, as ever).

I'm going to do my best to bury myself in what I still have to read here rather than complaining about what I'm missing... At least I'll have a chance to read these when I fly north for a visit in December!

Trapped in text

Between reading Richard Powers, Virginia Woolf, Stephen Hawking, and Alain Robbe-Grillet, my mind is buzzing with thoughts on space/time/perspective/the nature of reality and the way in which we attempt to apprehend it with words. All of these texts inform each other in one way or another--I'm sure someone in some grad school somewhere has probably written a thesis that encapsulates these works, linking a private human understanding of "truth" with books that plumb the depths of reality's features in one way or another. I have always found books that tinker with space and time to be fascinating experiments where words are the tools that scratch at the skin of truth.

I've just finished Jealousy (Maud piqued my curiosity), and although I have no experience in talking about this sort of writing at all, here are some preliminary neophyte thoughts...

The first-person narrator (who never says "I") meticulously describes everything he sees and hears, while the reader becomes rapidly aware that he suspects his wife of having an affair with a neighbor from the next plantation. Certain events are described over and over again in the narrative (with slight differences each time) and I felt like I was witnessing an endless memory-loop in an obsessive mind. The narrator's almost clinical detachment becomes increasingly creepy as the excuses he makes for the other two ("It was only a piece of bad luck, without consequences, an incident of no seriousness, one of the minor inconveniences of colonial life.") slowly give way to descriptive fixations that become slightly more obscure and chaotic the more his selective memory jumps around. The coldly "objective" observations undermine themselves as linear time is confused for absolute space. (Precise location and situation are the only things that can be known through his gaze--there is even a diagram mapping out the house and the locations repeatedly mentioned in the novel. Time becomes hazy and one has to read carefully to distinguish between 6.30am and 6.30pm.)

With each paragraph, I had to reorient myself to the narrator's switched subjects and erratic descriptions--my only immediate point of reference for this was The Waves (and, basically, Virginia Woolf's writing in general). The reader has to be constantly alert to subtle cues and shifts in the observations, because the shocks are sudden and come without much warning. I went into the novel with the understanding that a murder takes place. After finishing it, I can't even tell you if that's true or if one or even two people are murdered. But I love this sort of thing--when an author demands to be read carefully, creating close readers of us all. I know that if I'd paid closer attention, compared each page of "action" (or nonaction, as the case may be) with the diagram, counted the number of times that smashed centipede was mentioned (and the single mention of its removal), and noted the discrepancies among the narrator's own versions of events, a much more defined story would've emerged.

In his essay "Objective Literature: Alain Robbe-Grillet," Roland Barthes declares:
For Robbe-Grillet, the function of language is not a raid on the absolute, a violation of the abyss, but a progression of names over a surface, a patient unfolding that will gradually "paint" the object, caress it, and along its whole extent deposit a patina of tentative identifications, no single term of which could stand by itself for the presented object. [...]

Robbe-Grillet is important because he has attacked the last bastion of the traditional art of writing: the organization of literary space.
Meanwhile, the internal is externalized to the extent that all supposed "subjectivity" is banished to nearly scientific precision of visual description. It's uncanny to read, but a remarkable glimpse into yet another way of viewing the world.

Here is a 2003 interview with Robbe-Grillet (via This Space).

13 October 2006

Old laughter

This might wind up sounding like one of those "you-had-to-be-there" things, but I think some would agree that when you read something aloud it can seem much funnier than if you were simply reading it to yourself. Such was the case with L.M. Montgomery's The Golden Road (sequel to The Story Girl, which is also excellent). The children write and edit their own magazine, contributing anything from essays on "My Most Exciting Adventure" to local gossip and fashion notes. Years ago, I would spend hours reading Montgomery's stories to my younger sisters...and for some reason, I still can't read this one with a straight face:

Shakespeare's full name was William Shakespeare. He did not always spell it the same way. He lived in the reign of Queen Elizabeth and wrote a great many plays. His plays are written in dialogue form. Some people think they were not written by Shakespeare but by another man of the same name. I have read some of them because our school teacher says everybody ought to read them, but I did not care much for them. There are some things in them I cannot understand. I like the stories of Valeria H. Montague in the Family Guide ever so much better. They are more exciting and truer to life. Romeo and Juliet was one of the plays I read. It was very sad. Juliet dies and I don't like stories where people die. I like it better when they all get married especially to dukes and earls. Shakespeare himself was married to Anne Hatheway. They are both dead now. They have been dead a good while. He was a very famous man.


(PETER, MODESTLY: "I don't know much about Shakespeare myself but I've got a book of his plays that belonged to my Aunt Jane, and I guess I'll have to tackle him as soon as I finish with the Bible.")

12 October 2006

Description over object?

More from Plowing the Dark on programming and language:
Software is the final victory of description over thing.

He held her declaration in midair, turning it over. With software, the thing and its description are one and the same. Any item that you can learn how to say, you can make, pretty much out of raw syntax.

Saying and making...

...are one another's night jobs.

Wonder and disgust vied for control of her voice. So that's why we want to do everything over again in software. Why we all want to move there.

Well, it's no worse than words, really.

What are you talking about? It's a lot worse than words. It's words on steroids. Words are safe exactly because they're so fuzzy. Deniable near-misses. Give them teeth, and every teenaged thing that you ever regretted saying is out there drunk behind the wheel of the Chevy.

11 October 2006

Woolf discussion

Devoted to discussing one short story a month, A Curious Singularity has chosen Virginia Woolf's "Kew Gardens" for October. The discussion got started yesterday... Anyone is free to chime in.

Here is the rest of their tentative schedule:
Virginia Woolf, “Kew Gardens” (1919)
Katherine Mansfield, "At the Bay" (1922)
Franz Kafka, “A Hunger Artist” (1924)
Ernest Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants" (1927)
Delmore Schwartz, "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities" (1937)
Kay Boyle, "Winter Night" (1946)
Jean Stafford, "In the Zoo" (1953)
Isaac Bashevis Singer, “Gimpel the Fool” (1953)
Isak Dinesen, “The Blank Page” (1957)
James Baldwin, "Sonny's Blues" (1957)
Flannery O'Connor, "Everything That Rises Must Converge" (1961)
Frank O'Connor, "My Oedipus Complex" (1963)
John Cheever, "The Swimmer" (1964)
Patrick White, “Dead Roses” (1964)
Grace Paley, "A Conversation with My Father" (1974)
Alice Munro, "How I Met My Husband" (1974)
Jean Rhys, "Sleep it Off Lady" (1976)
Raymond Carver, "Where I'm Calling From" (1983)

10 October 2006


It seems there are endless directions one could take in a life. The inevitable "burden of freedom"--our terrible curse and secret joy. You make the usual pro and con lists, weigh the balance, map out possibilities and the potential latent within each one. You try using differing criteria: What if X wasn't a limitation? What would I want then? You take your time, rid yourself of emotion, attempt to be as objective as possible, all so that you have nothing to regret. That the promise certain professors supposedly saw in you will be justified somehow. The days pass, the weeks, the months...and you know something will have to be done. But what? And where? The novelty of intention fades with the waning light of each old sky and you wonder if certainty will ever step beyond myth and into your seaside room.

Never say never.

09 October 2006

The "one book" meme

Bud tossed this in my direction and I'm torn between delight and chagrin. I've always hated making lists like this--how in the world am I to pick only ONE? But I'll take it to mean "one of many" and so I'll give it a shot and will try to post it as quickly as possible to keep me from changing my mind a billion times and spending five hours on it...

1. One book that changed your life?

Annie Dillard's An American Childhood. First read it when I was 18--had I read it a couple of years previous to this, I would've been spared a lot of heartache. I have yet to read a more accurate account of what it's like to perceive the world as a child and an adolescent. Pure magic. It rescued me from a suffocating private isolation and articulated all the things I never thought I'd find words for. Brilliant. (Honorable mention: Salinger's Franny and Zooey.)

2. One book that you have read more than once?

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. This was the first candidate for the question above, but since I've read it eight times, here she is. I was 13 when I first picked this one up--and have carried it with me ever since.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets. I could spend years getting to the bottom of this thing...and love every minute.

4. One book that made you cry?

Dostoevsky's novella, "A Gentle Creature" (which can be found in here). Part of his genius lies in communicating a deep compassion for humanity even while portraying the inhuman things we do to each other.

5. One book that made you laugh?

The inevitable: John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces. Many times I was sure I'd pass out from lack of oxygen...

6. One book you wish had been written?

Bud already said what I would've (and for the same reasons), so I'll go with Dickens' The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Charles aping his pal Wilkie? Who knows? Even better is reading what exists of this unfinished novel in the context of The D. Case: Or the Truth About the Mystery of Edwin Drood. Imagine Father Brown, Poirot, Holmes, Petrovich, Marlowe, and other detectives going straight from the page to a conference in Rome where they have to collectively pool their little grey cells to figure out how Dickens would've ended it if he'd lived long enough... The result is far from perfect, but highly intriguing nonetheless.

7. One book you wish had never been written?

Ok, I'll say it: The Da Vinci Code. The dumbing-down of culture continues... (And did United Statesians really need yet one more reason to look like idiots while traveling Europe?)

8. One book you are reading currently?

Richard Powers' Plowing the Dark. It's only the second novel of his I've read, but I adore this writing. I'm trying to not get too jealous of those who live in the same country as The Echo Maker...

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

José Saramago's La caverna. I have yet to read Saramago (the shock! the horror!), but I miraculously found a used copy here in town and thought it'd be good to try him in Spanish first (plus he seems to be quite popular 'round here). We shall see.

10. Pass it on:

Anne at Fernham (Missed you while you were away!)

(And thank you dear Anon. for the added nudge to nip the procrastination disease in the bud.)

08 October 2006

Word made flesh?

Fellow blogger Robert wonders about the similarities between poetry and programming languages:
Both require precision, and poetry usually also involves some degree of linguistic compactness. Also, just as software executes within the context of an operating system, poetry likewise "executes" within the psyche of the reader. A few lines in either form can have a profound impact, sending memory pointers in myriad directions.
This immediately jumped out at me because today I read a conversation between Steve and Adie in Powers' Plowing the Dark that went something like this:
I'm telling you, writing my first subroutine was...like causing huge chunks of unravished bride to rise up, just by singing to her. A good, polished program was everything I thought poetry was supposed to be.

Stevie. You must have had a very peculiar idea of what poetry was supposed to be.

No different than any person who ever wrote it. I was going to get inside of reality and extract its essence, write down on paper the magic metrical words that, read aloud, would do their open sesame.

She looked at the screen, ready to deny everything. But she nodded. The vital formula. Sympathetic spells. Life's nail clippings. The impression of a body in bed.

He raced on, not hearing her. There was this kid poet, and he wrote and wrote. He rubbed the magic lamp until the poetic self-abuse police threatened to come impound him. And still nothing happened. The incantation seemed to be defective. Then they put the kid in front of this terminal and initiated him into the secret syntax. A few simple rules, combined in a few elegant ways, and blamm-o. The thing works. It runs. The world does move. The rules churn. The descriptions step their way through their own internal logic. The lines of code set more switches, change more states. Commands produce results.

The word made flesh.

Spiegel flinched. Don't mock me.

I'm not mocking.

Because that's exactly what it is. It doesn't matter if you're only talking about a formula for compound interest plugged into a general ledger program. Change any variable and the executing universe alters. Move it to the left, increment it by a quarter precent, and the new result gets spit out whole. It gives one a tremendous feeling of--


Perfectibility. Coding possessed a kind of reality check that sestinas never had. A program either worked or it didn't, and if it didn't work, it was wrong. Period. Something magnificent to that.

I made a lot of wrong paintings in my life. Believe me. And I didn't need any machine to tell me they were wrong.

But you never knew, completely, when you made a right one.

Adie wrapped her self-indicting silence around her like a shawl.

It's...funny, Spiegel went on. Art made all this happen, you know. The whole digital age. Music did it. Hollerith got his idea for the punched data card from the player piano. From the Jacquard tapestry loom. [...] The rules, the operators? They're completely open-ended. Extensible. Whatever you can imagine, they can build. Think of it: the universal behavior machine, able to build any gadget that crossed the human mind. Not a tool. The ultimate medium.
Although I agree with Adie (and sestinas were never meant to offer "reality check"s), I admit that it's an interesting idea...albeit a potentially dangerous one.

07 October 2006


Before closing down shop in August, Brendan Wolfe of The Beiderbecke Affair was unable to find an English translation of a Cortázar story and had to resort to the whimsically imprecise Babelfish. It's taken me a while to get my act together, but with all my best wishes, here's the first paragraph of that story (hopefully a legible alternative):
I am Panamanian and have lived with Bix for a while.

I write it and go on to the next line; no one will believe it, if they did, they would be like me and I don’t know anyone like me. Not exactly me, but at least like me. At best, it’s an advantage because I can write it without it mattering if they read it or not, that in the end I’ll burn this with the last match of the last cigarette. Or I’ll leave it abandoned in the street, or I’ll give it to someone to do what he likes with it; everything will be behind, so far behind Bix and I. I write because I have nothing else to do and because it’s true or it would appear to be true to someone like me. These people exist, I’ve brushed past them in life nearby or at a distance, not everyone lives bound to what they’ve been taught. Look, Rimbaud said that he’d fallen in love with a pig, and professors think he was a great poet. They probably think so without believing it because they must in order to not appear wrong. But I know that he was a great poet and Bix also knew it, although he’d never read a line of French and I had to translate Rimbaud to him and he’d hold his head in his hands and sit thinking, or he’d go to the piano and would begin to play that thing that they now call In a Mist and it was his way of saying that he understood French poetry because it arrived via Debussy and because everything almost always arrived through music and that was his only way of understanding things that he didn’t understand when they came to him through other means--life for example, the order of what I myself called reality and which he only understood in C major or F sharp, sweetly blowing into his coronet or going to the piano and allowing Lost in a Fog to be born, burning his lips on the cigarette forgotten by the spider hands that spun and spun on the keyboard until everything ended in a curse and a leap, I always had a tube of cream nearby to cure his lips, afterwards we laughingly kissed and he went back to cursing because it hurt and because the coronet would hurt him even more in the evening when he had to play in the Blue Room for eighty dollars a night.
(Here's the complete piece in its original Spanish.)

06 October 2006

Changes for "La Casa"

Colombian government to reconstruct García Márquez's birthplace:
El Ministerio de Cultura destinará 200 millones de pesos para la primera etapa de las obras a través de una licitación pública que abrirá a partir del próximo 17 de octubre.

La casa paterna del autor de novelas como 'Cien años de soledad' se encuentra ubicada en la población de Aracataca, departamento de Magdalena, en la costa Caribe.

El escritor colombiano, que obtuvo el galardón en 1982, actualmente vive entre la ciudad de México y la colonial ciudad de Cartagena, capital del caribeño departamento de Bolívar.
This week I was able to pick up a copy of El olor de la guayaba (which was translated into English as The Fragrance of Guava) at our one (tiny!) local bookstore. It's a marvelous little collection of conversations between Plinio Apuley Mendoza and Gabriel García Márquez (with photos), discussing the latter's life and work. In it, he says he attempted to write One Hundred Years of Solitude when he was 18, under the title of La Casa (but for many reasons, it didn't come out right).
PAM: What was your purpose when you sat down to write One Hundred Years of Solitude?

GGM: To give an integrated, literary outlet to all of the experiences that had in some way affected me during my childhood.

PAM: Many critics see in the book a parable or allegory of the history of humanity.

GGM: No, I only wanted to give a poetic consistancy to the world of my childhood, which as you know, occurred in a very large, sad house with a sister that ate dirt and a grandmother that saw the future, and many relatives with the same names who could never tell much difference between happiness and dementia.

PAM: The critics always find more complex intentions.

GGM: If they exist, they're unconscious. But it could also be that critics, as oppossed to novelists, don't discover in books what they can find, but what they want to see.
(This quick translation is mine.)

04 October 2006

Technical difficulties

Minor hiccup. Hope to get back to normal tonight.

Belated wishes

[cross-posted at 400 Windmills]

Last Friday was Cervantes' 459th birthday, but it's taken me this long to do something about it. Better late than never!

"Sueña Alonso Quijano"

El hombre se despierta de un incierto
sueño de alfanjes y de campo llano
y se toca la barba con la mano
y se pregunta si está herido o muerto.
¿No lo perseguirán los hechiceros
que han jurado su mal bajo la luna?
Nada. Apenas el frío. Apenas una
dolencia de sus años postrímeros.
El hidalgo fue un sueño de Cervantes
y don Quijote un sueño del hidalgo.
El doble sueño los confunde y algo
está pasando que pasó mucho antes.
Quijano duerme y sueña. Una batalla:
los mares de Lepanto y la metralla.

~ Jorge Luis Borges, Cervantes y el Quijote

["Alonso Quijano Dreams"

The man awakes in an uncertain
dream of sabers and flat fields
and he strokes his beard with his hand
and he asks whether he's wounded or dead.
Don't the sorcerers pursue him
that have sworn to his ill under the moon?
Nothing. Barely the cold. Barely an
illness of his recent years.
The hidalgo was a dream of Cervantes'
and Don Quixote a dream of the hidalgo.
The double dream confuses them and something
is happening that happened a long time ago.
Quijano sleeps and dreams. A battle:
the seas of Lepanto and the shrapnel.]

03 October 2006

Kids' recommendations

Last week, Bogotá's Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango unveiled Los libros que leo, a site devoted to 1200 book recommendations and illustrations received by the children of Colombia (organized by region). Topping the list of the ten favorites? Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince. (Even if you don't read Spanish, the illustrations alone are worth the click.)

Back to life

Amid the flurry of visits of the past month, my sister brought books (!), including the one I hated to leave behind, Plowing the Dark. After what feels like years, I was able to do nothing but sit in a café tonight and lose myself in words...
"You see? You see? If we can make these...scratch lines come to life, then life is not just some outside thing that happens to us. It's something we come into and make."
(Read about Powers' recent novel in Bookforum.)

Dalkey Archive Press moves...

...to the University of Rochester:
The Dalkey Archive Press, a prestigious independent publisher specializing in international literature and translations, will move to the University of Rochester in January 2007. A nonprofit publisher currently located in Normal, Ill., Dalkey releases 30 titles a year that are carried in 2,000 bookstores and libraries in the United States and Canada.

"We are delighted that Dalkey Archive Press, the premier press in literary translation, has chosen to join us at the University of Rochester," said Peter Lennie, the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. "Its presence on campus will help energize exciting new programs and will offer rich opportunities—particularly those focused on literary translation—to connect scholarship and professional experience."
(via Inside Higher Ed)

UPDATE 14 November...Scratch that. Not happening.

02 October 2006

Medellín's poetry

According to the Poetry International Network,
The Medellín International Poetry Festival shares this year's Swedish Right Livelihood Award with Indian rights activist, Ruth Manorama and Daniel Ellsberg, the former US Defence Department official who leaked secret Pentagon documents during the Vietnam war.

The prize committee cited the "The Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín" for promoting peace in what it called one of the most violent cities in the world. The Right Livelihood Award for justice, peace and truth-building, often referred to as "the alternative Nobel Prize", was founded in 1980 to honour work ignored by the prestigious Nobel prizes.
The latest edition of Prometeo, the journal of the Medellín festival, includes work by over 60 poets from five different regions of the world.