Translation fest in the Guardian

February 27, 2009

Both Three Percent and the Literary Saloon have expressed delight and amazement at the suddenly increased number of translation-related pieces in this weekend’s New York Times Book Review, but check out The Guardian!

  • John Banville reviews a new translation of Stefan Zweig’s Post Office Girl.
  • Adam Thirlwell, author of The Delighted States, meditates on eminently hateable Italian author Curzio Malaparte.
  • James Buchan considers, via Jonathan Lyons’s new book, The House of Wisdom, the influence of Arab mathematics, geography, poetry, etc. on European intellectual culture in centuries past.
  • And, of course, James Lasdun reviews the omnipresent The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell, which the Complete Review and La Kakutani of the New York Times roundly panned. It comes off somewhat better in Lasdun’s account, but I can’t say I’m eager for a 938-page slog if it’s even half as bad as other reviews have said.

All right, so the Arab history isn’t a translation, but it certainly speaks to the importance of cultural exchange. Could it be that translations are finally getting more traction and visibility in the mainstream publishing industry?



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