Urgency and Patience reviewed at Words Without Borders

July 1st, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

WWB

At Words Without Borders, Jeffrey Zuckerman, formerly of Dalkey Archive and now Digital Editor at Music & Literature Magazine, has these kind words for my translation of Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s recent essay collection Urgency and Patience:

Edward Gauvin seems to have devoted the same patience to translating Toussaint as I once did proofreading him; Gauvin’s facility with both the original, crisp French and a correspondingly transparent English are in full evidence here. A reader intimately acquainted with Toussaint’s novels might well wonder if his mind occasionally becomes as flattened, as empty, and as analytical as those of his overlapping narrators. The delightful revelation offered by Urgency and Patience is that such a prospect is nigh well impossible.

 

Kamel Daoud in the NYT

June 30th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Kamel Daoud by Claude Truong-Ngoc, February 2015

Kamel Daoud by Claude Truong-Ngoc, February 2015

Kamel Daoud, whose debut The Meursault Investigation won the Prix Goncourt for First Novels and was excerpted in The New Yorker, weighs in on his native Algeria in the context of the Arab Spring in The New York Times with “The Algerian Exception,” translated by yours truly.

 

 

Paris Through the Ages

June 28th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Paris au fil

A book I had a lovely time translating over the holidays last year is now available: Jean-Michel Billioud’s Paris au fil du temps, or Paris Through the Ages. This is the first pop-up book I’ve ever done, and working from pdfs as I did, I only later saw how it was meant to be fit together. It’s a pleasure to hold the finished product in my hands, made with such care and charm. Each two-page spread features the City of Lights at some point in its evolution, touching on such major eras as the Roman Lutetia, medieval Paris, Haussmann’s renovations, and the modern day. Flaps open out and wheels turn to provide captioned cutaways. Interactive, educational, and elegant, it’s a must-read before any family vacation in France. Both French and English versions are published by Gallimard (who offered me the standard royalty guaranteed translators in France. America has a lot to learn).

product_9782070666607_195x320

 

 

Now Out: Anne Richter in Sisters of the Revolution

June 26th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Sisters

Now available from PM Press: Sisters of the Revolution, a Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, which includes my translation of Belgian fabulist Anne Richter’s “The Sleep of Plants.” I’m delighted to have her appear in the context of such authors as L. Timmel Duchamp, Nalo Hopkinson, James Tiptree Jr., Catherynne Valente, Joanna Russ, Tanith Lee, Angela Carter, Ursula Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Nnedi Okorafor, Karin Tidbeck,

Kirkus Review‘s starred review says: “There is probably no better time for this anthology to emerge, as the SF/F world is rocked by a clash over the value of diverse voices. While the original dates of publication of these stories range from the 1970s to the current decade, and include both stalwarts of their respective genres and relative newcomers, they all feel fresh as ever. Touching on issues from surveillance, misogyny, and marriage to queerness, family dynamics, and gender fluidity… these stories, coming from a variety of genres, subgenres, and nonrealist traditions, are timeless and breathtaking in scope and power.”

At Tor.com, Mahvesh Murad says these stories do “exactly what you’d want them to—they tear apart cliches, they question gender and it’s implications, they look at identity using satire and humour and darkness with a sharp intellectual examination of stigma and society’s rules.”

 

 

Patrick Modiano in Tin House

June 24th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Tin House 64

Now out in the latest issue of Tin House (#64, Summer Reading 2015), my first time translating a Nobel Prizewinner: Patrick Modiano’s “Page-a-Day,” a memory piece blending fact, fiction, and intimate Paris geography, like much of the writer’s work. The original title “Éphémeride,” despite its poetic appearance, refers to a fairly mundane object in France, a kind of calendar we have several names for in English: Page-A-Day, Day-to-Day, Day-By-Day, One-Day-At-A-Time, or simply block calendar. The more esoteric definition for it is an ephemeride, a kind of astronomical almanac, but I found no backing for that meaning in the text, so I eschewed it. I like to think my title—a certain wistfulness in the original perhaps replaced by hyphens—suits Modiano’s unfussy style in which the accumulation of down-to-earth and matter-of-fact detail becomes haunting. I considered other possibilities—the more prosaic “Almanac,” and “Ephemera,” which shifts the emphasis—I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion when the piece begins that these recollections are necessarily ephemera; it’s only their later disarray that makes them seem hopelessly lost and scattered to the narrator. One challenge of this piece was finding ways to slip in glosses of the very French material marginalia that does so much memory work in Modiano: locations, brand names, acronyms, cultural signifiers of recent history.

Out Now: Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s Urgency and Patience

May 23rd, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Urgency 2

The latest work available in English by Belgian Jean-Philippe Toussaint is this slim and handsome essay collection, translated by yours truly, that clocks in at an attractive 90 pages. Select essays have previously appeared in different form in The White Review and Gulf CoastDalkey Archive Press will follow up Urgency and Patience with the fourth and final novel in Toussaint’s Marie tetralogy, Nue.

Jean-Philippe Toussaint (1957 – ) is a Belgian writer and filmmaker whose books have been translated into more than twenty languages. The author of nine novels, he is the winner of numerous literary prizes, including the Prix Médicis in 2005 for his novel Running Away, and the Prix Décembre in 2009 for The Truth about Marie, the two middle books of the Marie tetralogy.

APPLY NOW: 2015 American Literary Translators Association Conference Fellowships for Emerging Translators

May 21st, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

ALTA logo

Eight years ago now (whoa!) I was one of the lucky young translators to get an ALTA Travel Fellowship. It was good money, huge encouragement at a precarious and impressionable time, and a great entrée into the world of literary translation by way of a conference that still manages to gather many of the country’s best literary translators each year for shoptalk, drinks, fascinating panels, and general comradery.

This coming fall, October 28-31, the conference will be in Tucson, with a theme of Translation & Traffic. This is not a conference that happens in a warm city very often, so seize the day (the last one I remember was Pasadena 2009). The $1000 should cover airfare and lodging from most places in the U.S.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 ALTA Travel Fellowship Awards.  If you’re a newcomer to translation, no matter your age, you should try your hand! Each year, four to six fellowships in the amount of $1,000 are awarded to beginning (unpublished or minimally published) translators to help them pay for travel expenses to the annual ALTA conference.  (When I applied, I had two lit mag credits and a handful of comics to my name.)

At the conference, ALTA Fellows are invited to read their translated work at a keynote event, giving them an opportunity to present their translations to an audience of translators, authors, editors, and publishers from around the world.

ALTA Travel Fellowships are funded by a combination of member dues and private donations, often generously provided by established translators and other devoted supporters of literary translation. If you are interested in learning more about how you can support this important program, please contact Managing Director Erica Mena at erica@literarytranslators.org

Applications must include:

  • a cover letter explaining your interest in attending the conference
  • current CV / resumé
  • up to 10 pages of translated work (poetry or prose, double spaced)
  • the corresponding original language text

The judges for the 2015 ALTA Travel Fellowship are Italian translator emeritus Geoffrey Brock, who teaches at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville;  Jennifer Croft, Founding Editor of The Buenos Aires Review and 2015 NEA Translation Grantee; and poet Sidney Wade, editor at Subtropics and professor at the University of Florida Gainesville.

SUBMIT HERE by June 1st on Submittable!

Yves and Ada Rémy in The Black Herald

May 19th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Black Herald

Hear ye, hear ye! The fifth and latest issue of The Black Herald, bilingual gem of the Parisian literary scene, has arrived. Brainchild of Blandine Longre and Paul Stubbs, it is packed to the gills with work by exciting talents past, present, and future: David Gascoyne, Olive Moore, Egon Bondy, Rosemary Lloyd, Pierre Cendors, Andrew Fentham, Peter Oswald, Charles Nodier, Alistair Ian Blyth, Bensalem Himmich, Eurydice Antolin, Afonso Cruz, Heller Levinson, Anne-Sylvie Homassel, Philippe Annocque, David Spittle, Cécile Lombard, Jos Roy, Michael Lee Rattigan, Victor Segalen, César Vallejo, Anthony Seidman… and a never-before-published interview with Emil Cioran!

I am proud The Black Herald has chosen to feature my translation of Yves et Ada Rémy’s story “The House of the Nightjars,” from their classic volume of interconnected tales, Les Soldats de la mer [The Soldiers of the Sea]. Something between an alternate history and a midsummer night’s fantasy, it was first published in 1968 and has been multiply reprinted since.

Here’s an excerpt:

All the rest is but the noise of war now, squadrons passing at a gallop in the streets, teams hauling field guns and artillery carriages with their ironshod wheels, a din a thousand djinns could not have equaled; all the rest is but the noise of war now with cannons thundering beyond the hills, rising smoke, chasseurs à pied coming and going and fleeing, regiments moving off in tight columns, heavy and invincible and dissolving in the smoke of battle uphill from town as you watched war’s dishevelments from the dormer windows, your heart in your throat, eyes brimming with tears, and the wind flung that mad, bitter, venomous odor of burnt powder all over town; all the rest is but the noise of war now with soldiers in red uniforms, or blue, or green, running through the fields and up the hillsides, coming and going, up and down—like nightjars, child, flying toads, goatsuckers, in braying flocks. All the rest is now but the mad and wondrous face of war.

Husband and wife Yves and Ada Rémy are writers, filmmakers, and utterly charming people, who together have authored short stories, radio plays, and three other novels, one of which, La Maison du Cygne [The House of the Swan] won the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire at Utopiales in 1979.

 

Now Available: Pablo by Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie

May 17th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

SelfMadeHero is delighted to announce the publication of PABLO, which explores Picasso’s  formative years amongst the bohemians of Montmartre, including Apollinaire, Max Jacob and Gertrude Stein. Winner of the Grand Prix at France’s RTL Graphic Novel Awards, PABLO, written by Julie Birmant and illustrated by Clément Oubrerie, is the latest in SelfMadeHero’s Arts Masters series, which to date includes the highly praised Rembrandt and Vincent.

Pablo English

 

This award-winning graphic biography of Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) captures the prolific and eventful life of one of the world’s best-loved artists. Pablo explores Picasso’s early life among the bohemians of Montmartre, his turbulent relationship with artist/model Fernande Olivier, and how his art developed through friendships
with poets Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire, the painter Georges Braque, and his great rival Henri Matisse. Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie depict a career that began in poverty and reached its climax with the advent of cubism and modern art.
Julie Birmant, a former director of the Brussels film school INSAS, has made documentaries on popular science and co-edited issues of the Journal of Alternative Theatre. She lives in France. Clément Oubrerie is a French artist who has illustrated more than 40 books. His first graphic novel, Aya of Yop City, won the First Book Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival; was nominated for the YALSA Great Graphic Novels list and an Eisner Award; and made best-of lists in the
Washington Post, BooklistPublishers Weekly, and School Library Journal.

Out Now: Book 3 of Frederik Peeters’ Aama

May 15th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Aama 3

The third volume of Frederik Peeters’ cosmic SF saga Aama, The Desert of Mirrors, now available for your reading pleasure. Things really speed up in this, the penultimate chapter, and Peeters’ depiction of the planet Ona(ji) under the organic influence of the evolving Aama remains disturbing as ever. Don’t miss it!