Dalkey Archive in NYT

December 13, 2008

Tom McCarthy gives a great appraisal of the novel “Camera” by Jean-Philippe Toussaint, trans. Matthew B. Smith, in today’s New York Times. Read the review here.


Real Old

December 3, 2008

Hello, this is why I keep a journal. Just came across these notes:

“September, 2003: I attended a talk at NYU entitled “The Politics of Translation.” Panelist Susan Sontag argued that the word “foreign” in an American vocabulary has traditionally been allied with the past, with an old way of doing things. As a result America as a nation has always fostered its image— one of innovation and rebellion— alone.”

This seems like an incredibly astute comment on Sontag’s part, but I wonder how it can be proven? Someone would need to do a cultural study of Americans and translation, ie how Americans have thought about translation as a creative practice over the years– not just the much bandied-about very useful 3% statistic from the publishing market. How would such a study even be started? Still it should happen. We need a local anthropologist.