Rear Window

December 2nd, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

I Salute Amazon

December 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

on their recent $44,000 grant to Words Without Borders, supporting literature in translation and “a small organization weathering difficult economic times,” as WWB’s Managing Director Joshua Mandelbaum puts it. For all its size, WWB has proven a doughty and enduring champion of world lit, steadily growing in size, influence, and readership since its first issue in 2003. I owe them, and especially editor Susan Harris,  a special debt of gratitude: Words Without Borders was the first periodical ever to publish a translation of mine, Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud’s “Delaunay the Broker,” in November 2005. Since then, I’ve had the luck to become a steady contributor, and watch the magazine evolve into the force it is today. I am deeply honored to be on its masthead as a Contributing Editor  for Graphic Fiction.

My favorite part of all this good news is surely that

This grant, the largest they’ve given to date, will cover all our author and translator fees for 2011 and allow us to raise our payments to both.

Words Without Borders is already exemplary in being among the few magazines who have always defended translators’ rights. They always find a way to pay the translator, and are, as far as I know, alone in undertaking rights negotiations with foreign publishers and agents on the translator’s behalf. As any translator will tell you, especially beginners or struggling freelancers, this is a boon like no other, a saver of time and livelihood, a preventer of gray hairs.  Most magazines put the burden on the translator to obtain proof of permission and submit it with the manuscript.

As Mandelbaum notes,

I know some people consider Amazon.com’s business practices antithetical to our efforts, and see these grants as smoke and mirrors. The truth, I believe, is more complicated. The problems and struggles of literary publishing are not the fault of any one company or organization, and solutions must be taken up by the publishing community as a whole, including the reader.
Dear readers, this holiday season, please consider donating to Words Without Borders!

Où es-tu, Rémi Gaillard?

December 8th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

From my brother:

In 2006, Xiang Xiang, a five-year-old male, was freed after spending three years being taught survival skills such as foraging for food and marking his territory.

After initially appearing to be adjusting well, he died after getting into a fight with a group of wild pandas.

They are thought to have sensed something different about the human-reared interloper.”

Elsewhere

December 13th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

The estimable blog A Journey Round My Skull is serializing my translation of Roland Topor’s 100 Good Reasons to Kill Myself Right Now with inimitable Topor illustrations handpicked by the blogrunner himself, that tasteful man who’s been rescuing unique images from the depths of international neglect. An excellent way to start your day, and if you read it in four installments, you may even emerge inoculated against insidious despair.

Or not.

Also, my most recent post at Mischief & Mayhem is a review of Wazem and Tirabosco’s somber, fantastical graphic novel La fin du monde.

Ongoing Guest Bloggery

December 20th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

  • The third installment of Roland Topor’s “100 Good Reasons to Kill Myself Right Now” is up at A Journey Round My Skull. Ask not for whom the drum rolls.
  • The musings on Belgian fantastical fiction, The Belgian School of the Strange, takes a detour from regularly scheduled Small Beer to Mischief & Mayhem, where I muse on the literary impact of a historically divided state.
  • The Small Beer series so far:

Introduction: Oddities, Mysteries, Curiosities

Fernand Dumont and the Treatise on Fairies

Anne Richter and the Female Fantastic

Jacques Sternberg, Master of the Short-Short

Bernard Quiriny‘s Belgium That Never Was

G.-O. Châteaureynaud at The Short Review

December 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

In the latest issue of The Short Review, an online monthly dedicated to the short story form, an interview with Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud and an insightful and generous review of A Life on Paper by Tania Hershman:

This is definitely one of my favourite books of 2010, it delighted me with its wit and imagination, and will, I hope, inspire others to go beyond our English- speaking world. Chȃteaureynaud has published many more short stories, I hope A Life on Paper is just the first translation – and an excellent translation it is! – of his work.

Châteaureynaud and Other Reasons to Ring in the New

December 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Recently around the web:

  • “The Beautiful Coalwoman,” a short story by Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, is now live at Podcastle, read most excellently by Wilson Fowlie of The Maple Leaf Singers. Editor Thompson picked the perfect time of year–deep midwinter–for this chilly, melancholy tale, and Fowlie lends its woeful knight protagonist gravitas. I love how with subtle touches he individuates the voice of every character, and even invents a melody for the bit of doggerel the knight sings at the beginning to keep himself company. Huge thanks to the Podcastle team for making this happen so beautifully.
  • At A Journey Round My Skull, Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud opines about Ferenc Karinthy’s Metropole, one of his favorite novels. Thanks to Will Schofield for hosting this piece, and for digging up the Brandt collage that I find very apposite to protagonist Budai’s disorienting experience of the unnamed titular city. UPDATE: Jessa Crispin of Bookslut is kind enough to link to it.

A happy to everyone and ring in the new!

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