Coachella, Weird Fiction, Tin House, Absinth€ Minded

February 8th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

from Matt Benyo’s blog

  • H.V. Chao’s short story “A Portrait in the Attic” is up at The Coachella Review, kicking off a year of six of his short fiction publications slated so far—seven, if you count G.-O. Châteaureynaud’s translation “La main de mon père” in Brèves (the English original, “My Father’s Hand,” is forthcoming). “Portrait” is the first to appear in English.
  • I’m back in my bimonthly Monday groove at Weird Fiction Review, blogging on all things French and fantastic, starting with this post on Jean Ferry, author of “The Society Tiger,” my translation of which featured in the early days of WFR. I have a bad habit of announcing two-parters and not following through—I currently owe second parts to my Béalu and Brion posts—but caveat lector to those awaiting: it might be a bit. Sorry! Never fear, though—they will be finished!
  • The Tin House blog has run my piece on Charles McCarry’s novel The Secret Lovers. I’ve been working my way through the McCarry Å“uvre since last summer for sheer pleasure, and even though some novels are inevitably better than others, never once has his work failed to offer something compelling, memorable, and deftly presented.
  • After a three-year hiatus, I’ve also taken up blogging as part of the team again at Absinth€ Minded, the blog of Absinthe, Dwayne Hayes valiant journal of new writing from Europe, one of the few translation-only litmags on the scene. My first post concerns a fan petition for the translation of comics giant Moebius’ work into English, and goes on to some thoughts about English as a world language and the power of fans to change publishing in this time of transition.



February 1st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


  • Critic Christine Bini did me the favor of translating my essay on Châteaureynaud’s story “Delaunay the Broker,” on her blog at Le Nouvel Observateur—according to Wikipedia, “the most prominent French general information magazine in terms of audience and circulation.” The piece was first published in English on the Kepler’s Bookstore blog, Well-Read Donkey.
  • For the second time (spring 2011 was the first), novelist and professor John Gregory Brown will be teaching A Life on Paper in his course The Fantastic in Fiction at Sweet Briar College. Over the course of the semester, students will read the entire book and blog on every story, in the context of work by Steven Millhauser, Kij Johnson, and Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. Seeing these young readers’ reactions was one of Châteaureynaud’s favorite parts of 2011, a sentiment I can only echo.

Slowly, Through Select Testimonies

December 23rd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

to its advent–for example, here and here–a book long merely dream or rumor is becoming printed fact:

Coming May 2010 from Small Beer Press

“Then English and French and mere Spanish will disappear from the globe. The world will be Tlön.” ~ J.L.B.

World Fantasy Con… some overdue wrap-up

November 9th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Before any more time goes by—yikes, it’s been a week already!—some afterthoughts on WFC. The blogosphere, ADD as it is, has long ago up and moved on, and everyone else has filed their reports and coverage. So please indulge me three quick posts pertaining thereto. First, huge congrats to all this year’s nominees and winners at World Fantasy Con!

  • Lifetime Achievement: Ellen Asher & Jane Yolen
  • Best Novel (tie): The Shadow Year, Jeffrey Ford (Morrow) & Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin; Knopf)
  • Best Novella: “If Angels Fight”, Richard Bowes (F&SF 2/08)
  • Best Short Story: “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss”, Kij Johnson (Asimov’s 7/08)
  • Best Anthology: Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy, Ekaterina Sedia, ed. (Senses Five Press)
  • Best Collection: The Drowned Life, Jeffrey Ford (HarperPerennial)
  • Best Artist: Shaun Tan
  • Special Award – Professional: Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant (for Small Beer Press and Big Mouth House)
  • Special Award – Non-Professional: Michael Walsh (for Howard Waldrop collections from Old Earth Books)

Another round of applause from this section for my former teacher Jeffrey Ford, and the publishers of my upcoming translation of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s stories, Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant. And w00t for the Paper Cities upset!

Cf. Amoureux

June 24th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

“Être aimé n’entraînait aucun devoir et donnait tous les droits, aimer ne conférait que le droit de souffrir.” ~ Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, L’Autre rive

“Aimer sans retour, c’est admettre qu’on se jettera dans le feu pour quelqu’un si l’occasion s’en présente, et que ce sacrifice nous vaudra trois secondes de reconnaissance, suivies d’un oubli pur et simple. Si béjaune qu’on soit, on comprend que l’autre s’accommode fort bien de nos tourments et que la vie lui demeure douce même quand elle nous devient insupportable.” ~ Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, Le Château de verre

“Quand on est aimé, on ne doute de rien, quand on aime, on doute de tout.” ~ Colette

The Fall in Icarus Saved from the Skies

June 22nd, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

Fantasy & Science Fiction Aug-Sept 2009

Review issues of the July-August Fantasy & Science Fiction have gone out to bloggers; I’ve just gotten my comps. My thanks to editor Gordon Van Gelder for all his support and enthusiasm for Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s story, “Icarus Saved from the Skies.” He’s opened a thread for comments on the issue here. The latest from him:

Now’s a good time to let your readers know the issue is out—copies should be on the newsstands, while subscribers who sign up for a year of F&SF will still start off with this issue.  (If you’re going to encourage people to subscribe, tell them to put a message in their order that you sent them.  I’ll give a cookie of some sort to anyone who persuades ten people to subscribe.)

Bloggers are already chiming in! Caren “spitkitten” Gussoff singles out in her review “a translation of a short piece… whose ending has all the punch of a tickle but bowls over in its restraint,” while Aaron M. Wilson at The Soulless Machine Review devotes a post discussing the inevitable Marvel mutant associations the story takes on in an American context, calling it “a train wreck of emotions that sends the winged-narrator over the side of a cliff. Don’t miss it.” Many thanks for the kind words!

The shift in cultural context brings with it an interesting, almost temporal shift in terms of dating subject matter. The notion of the person with powers who just wants to be normal is probably, because of comics, way more played out here than in France, but being normal doesn’t quite carry the same weight in a less markedly conformist society, where the choice is less either/or, the dichotomy between normal and not less damningly clear-cut. The normal lives Americans yearn for often involve some idealized happiness, itemized down to the last possession by our pursuit thereof—Superman’s corn-fed family fantasies, for instance. Many Châteaureynaud protagonists tend to want to be normal in a more retiring, passive, even self-effacing way; love and happiness don’t have to enter into it. His heroes and narrators are usually marginal, outcast dreamers and luckless, well-meaning Everymen. » Read the rest of this entry «

Shilling and Two Cents, not in that order

January 9th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

  • “Heavenly Father, be not with our sins against us, but with us against our sins. And when Your thoughts rise in our soul, let it be each time to show us not the extent of our errors, but that of Your pardon, nor how we go astray, but how You shall save us.” Can any Kierkegaard readers identify the source and perhaps standard English translation of this quote (which I have rendered from the French)? It is one of the most beautiful things I have recently read.
  • The Southern Review rejects a Châteaureynaud short story with the longest and second nicest editor letter this translator has ever received, in what is unarguably the most perfect penmanship. They will be getting another submission, those lucky folks!
  • Last year’s translation masterpiece by yours truly, Dr. Frédéric Saldmann’s Wash Your Hands!, has been available online and in stores for a month now. I’m sure it topped your holiday list.

by Dr. Frédéric Saldmann

by Dr. Frédéric Saldmann

Me Reading, Sunday Salon, Stain Bar, 11/16

November 14th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

UPDATED 11/30: video footage, thanks to Sunday Salon co-hostess Nita Noveno, of me reading part of G.O.-C.’s short story “The Pavilion and the Linden” (Le kiosque et le tilleul), an earlier version of which is available online at The Cafe Irreal.


A quick and all-too-close-to-the-date note to say I’ll be giving a reading of translations and my own writing at the Sunday Salon in Williamsburg this weekend, with three other writers: short-storyist Leni Zumas, psychologist-memoirist Daniel Tomasulo, and African-American novelist Kim Coleman Foote. It starts at 7pm, at the Stain Bar. (L to Grand, then 1 block west. Stain Bar is located at 766 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211. Bar opens at 5 p.m. 718.387.7840.)

To share some good news: the French fabulist whose work I’ll be reading, Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, just won the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire for his latest novel, L’Autre rive, at the Utopiales festival in Nantes (kind of to Euro sci-fi what Angouleme is to comics. Kelly Link just won the same prize in the Best Foreign Story Collection category for an edition of stories selected from her two American collections—Yay!)

And two new publications: Châteaureynaud’s story “The Only Mortal” will appear in Dec.-Jan. issue of The Brooklyn Rail, and his story “The Denham Inheritance” has been accepted for publication in a forthcoming volume of British quarterly Postscripts. Thank you, editors!

In a recent letter, the author offered his congratulations on our recent election.

A future post on the novel itself is pending.

Hope you can make it!

A more formal version française after the jump: » Read the rest of this entry «

Pocket Fabulism

October 8th, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

I have been alerted to this strange occurrence. I think I am flattered; certainly I am glad the story has been read 156 times. I am as yet uncertain how to respond and have refrained from leaving a comment, or notifying other parties who may perhaps be concerned. I was, after all, credited, as was the author, but AGNI Online, where it first appeared, was not, nor was the French publisher. I like to think I have a pirate heart, and if it were wholly up to me… but isn’t that the beginning of every excuse? The thought that someone out there is reading this, of all stories, on a cell phone, frankly tickles. All press is good press. Thank you, minicooper.

This on the heels of the tremendous news that Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s short story “Icarus Saved from the Skies” has been picked up for publication by Fantasy & Science Fiction. Gordon Van Gelder, we love you!

Lots of New Publications

April 16th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Silk Road has picked up my translation of Mercedes Deambrosis’ short story “A Spotless Marriage” from the collection La Promenade de délices for their Spring 2008 issue.

Epiphany is publishing my translation of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s “Écorcheville” from the collection Singe savant tabassé par deux clowns for their Spring 2008 issue. UPDATE: Epiphany has included the following in the latest newsletter concerning the upcoming issue: “the first North American appearance in print of the astonishing  Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, in a story, brilliantly translated by Edward Gauvin, about the invention of a coin-operated ‘execution machine’ in a small French village and just why you might—or might not—want the advice of a clairvoyant parrot.”

The Café Irreal will feature my translation of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s “The Pavilion and the Lime Tree” from the collection of the same name, Le Kiosque et le tilleul, in their May 2008 issue.

The 2008 Two Lines annual will include my translation of Chapter 2 from Patrick Besson’s novel Les Frères de la Consolation, which I was lucky enough to give a reading of at last November’s ALTA conference.

I’m overjoyed to report these acceptances: these pieces were all turned down multiple places before finding homes thanks to kind editors, whom I shower with immeasurable thanks.

I’m especially delighted to have doubled, in the last month, the amount of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud available in English. He’s sort of my pet project author—a fabulist of considerable repute in France whom I’ve been trying to smuggle into my language for some time now. Two earlier stories others can be found online here and here, in case you’re interested. The Banff Centre has been kind enough to grant me a residency this June to continue work on a book-length anthology of stories drawn from several of his collections—an introductory reader of sorts, in which I hope to interest publishers. Any editors reading this, by chance?

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