Final Thoughts on Frankfurt

October 23rd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

From this recent NYT article:

Anne-Solange Noble, the foreign-rights director at Gallimard in France, said American publishers did not support translated books with marketing budgets and then complained when sales failed to dazzle.

Ms. Noble said she was amused — but also appeared irritated — when she recounted running into an American publisher who, on the first night of the fair, described Mr. Le Clézio as “an unknown writer.”

“American publishers are depriving the American readership of the cultural diversity through translation to which they are entitled,” Ms. Noble said. “It is what I call the poverty of the rich.”

American publishers devoted to translating say there is no shortage of gems. On Thursday Mr. Post of Open Letter eagerly plunged into one of the international halls, plucking brochures of translated English excerpts from stands hosted by cultural agencies from Croatia, Latvia, Poland, China and Korea.

Frankfurt, he said, is about renewing contacts with people whose judgment he trusts and who can help him winnow the hundreds of titles he hears about here and elsewhere.

Chad Post, who continues to cut a swashbuckling youthful figure (“eagerly plunged”) on the international literature circuit, has weighed in amply about the Gallimard rights rep’s legendary hauteur both at Threep and on the Ffurt Book Fair Blog. Still, well-deserved hauteur or no, Mme. Noble has indeed identified a recurring problem with American publishers. Bad or no publicity can sink a book—no, make that utterly torpedo. » Read the rest of this entry «

Separated at Birth

October 23rd, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

It is inevitable that I acknowledge, if only in a single post, the fact of a presidential election in the country where I happen to reside, so let’s get it over with:

“It was not immediately clear if McCain, overnighting in Ohio, watched the show, but earlier in the day he told a crowd in Woodbridge, Va., that he thought Fey and Palin were ‘separated at birth.’”

Now that would be interesting. I would read that novel. You could chart a lot of America between the covers of that plot, especially if you were careful not to make the revelation of biological sorority too soapy.

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