09 September 2009

Reasons my week is getting better

  • At Three Percent, Dan Vitale reviews Anne McLean's translation of The Armies (Los ejércitos) by Evelio Rosero.
  • Rosero's new novel, Los almuerzos, comes out this month.
  • In "The Brazilian Sphinx", Lorrie Moore explores the life and work of Clarice Lispector.
  • A review of Lispector's The Hour of the Star (translated by Giovanni Pontiero) appears in the new issue of The Quarterly Conversation.
  • I'll have to comment on their take on translation as criticism soon--Walter Benjamin, Paul de Man, and others have gone back and forth on this issue for years...
  • From Scott Esposito's excellent essay, "Horacio Castellanos and the New Political Novel": "What for Ford Madox Ford was primarily a story of infidelity in inter-war England, and for Kobo Abe was about existentialist malaise in mid-century Japan, and for Walker Percy was about the alienation of the individual in a radically mediated society, and for Kazuo Ishiguro was a story of classism in contemporary England, becomes for Moya a story of the great political subconsciousness that seethes through life in 21st-century Latin America. Each of these writers shares an interest in portraying the space between objective reality and human subjectivity. Fundamentally, they are interested in what happens as the human mind attempts to piece together a reality, though it lacks the necessary information to do so. As the diversity of these writers’ output shows, the dramatization of this gap is a very malleable tool: an individual’s quest for objective truth can interrogate realities about the cultures that range from a bottom-rung operative in a Latin American state on the verge of failure to a wealthy, privileged gentleman in a European nation at the height of empire. What is most characteristic about these novels is that vital facts about the culture each is set in are bound up at the deepest levels with the narrators’ own gradual realization that there is no such a thing as an objective reality. The process of self-discovery is contingent on comprehending one’s cultural context."
  • And Suzanne Jill Levine offers an excerpt from her spectacular book (to be reissued in October), The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction.

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