The estimable Joyland expands its virtual empire of great writing by inaugurating The Consulate, a new section among its far-flung city outposts, dedicated to world writing in translation. For the first few months out of the gate, I am the lucky guest editor. Check back at the Consulate in late July for exciting international short fiction!
in Brooklyn, NY. Thanks, Greenlight!
Photo courtesy my friend Josh Furst, who read there recently for BOMB magazine.
This week–well, Monday, Wednesday, Friday–I’ll be guest blogging about A Life on Paper, Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, and translation at The Well-Read Donkey, one of three blogs from Kepler’s Books, fine independent purveyor of quality literature in Menlo Park, CA. The blog is run by the lovely Aggie Zivaljevic, who coordinates Kepler’s Writing Group. Its mission:
to connect Kepler’s Writing Group with other writers, readers, published authors and independent booksellers. Send us your book recommendations, tell us where is your favorite place to read, post the photo of your book shelf or your favorite book with dog-eared pages and post-it notes, tell us your favorite book to give this year, share your thoughts on writing craft, etc.
Scattered newsicles and web mentions:
- Live at the blog Largehearted Boy is a partial soundtrack (song listings for specific stories + liner notes) for Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s A Life on Paper. Check it out!
- “Writing is itself a translation,” begins Rick Kleffel’s great review at The Agony Column, echoing Borges’ bon mot, “the only difference between an original and a translation is that a translation can be measured against a visible text.”
“Brain-wrapping is an appropriate description of the reading experience with regards to Châteaureynaud. His surreal, slippery style offers readers one absurdity after another rendered with a relentlessly precise style. It’s a happy union of opposites that makes head-scratching incomprehension a joie de vivre…
Remarkably enough, it’s the prose, translated by Edward Gauvin, that shines here. The straightforward thrust, the matter-of-fact descriptions give Châteaureynaud’s work a power that cuts through his weird and fantastic situations.”
- Colleen Mondor of Chasing Ray singles out A City of Museums”, a “particularly intriguing short story by Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud” in LCRW 25. “It’s all very quick and yet not slick but rather old and museum-ish, if that makes any sense.”
- SFRevu, reviewing the same issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, calls it “a beautifully written piece.”
- The press service of the University of Iowa has announced its seven Fulbright scholars for the coming year, and my grinning mug (photo courtesy Megan McDowell, circa ALTA 2009) can be found among them here.
- Some title fun: Twilight: Eclipse is titled Hésitation in French, in case you weren’t sure of the subtext, but they kept the “Twilight” part. The Hangover became Very Bad Trip, and Pirate Radio, which we Yanks retitled from the original British The Boat That Rocked, became Good Morning England.
- A fascinating piece at Publishing Perspectives by American crime author David Fulmer about his French translator, the blind Frédéric Grellier, who uses mostly audio, and not his fellow countryman’s invention, Braille.
I have officially joined the Clarion Write-A-Thon for this summer, with the goal of finishing 3 short stories from idea (which I have) to final draft (which I will have) in six weeks. Please go and pledge money to show your support! All proceeds will go to keeping the Clarion Foundation alive, so would-be science fiction and fantasy writers for years to come may partake of its awesomeness. Clarion is the premier workshop for writers of speculative fiction.
I am too dumb to put a badge in the side column, so here it is below: click to find out more about the Write-A-Thon!
The town is tiny and slowly falling apart. Crumbs of mortar dribble from between brick teeth arched over a window’s gape. Stone was rare in the region, but earth abundant, and so the odd creamy keystone or corbel, often sporting some worn blazon, stands out from the pink abraded brick. As you round the slow curve of a cobblestone alley, a sign juts from a storefront, but drawing abreast you find the rooms are empty, traces of departure litter the carpet, and in the window, when not soaped or papered over, a sign proclaims closure: sometimes notice of bankruptcy (A vendre: Fonds de commerce: Suite à liquidation judiciaire), or a handwritten note hopeful of better times ahead (Ose devenir qui tu es! ~ Andre Gide). The black, compacted wood of timbered houses, all the more stalwart for its warp. One worries for the gutted buildings, with a staircase in the cool vestibule, and the dark rafters where it seems owls must roost.
The cathedral can, like most, be seen for miles around: an octagonal, vaguely Italianate bell tower rising over the treetops. The town is built in rings around it, or would be, if the circle closed. As it is, the town seen from above is three-eighths of a pie, with the cathedral backing on the Save, a lazy olive river gorged on recent rains. Gaps in the medieval wall or between a fence’s rusting bars entice the eye down lush backyards to painted doors set in the row of houses forming the next innermost arc. Here and there, instead of squat guardhouses, one of the dovecotes for which Gers is known, or atop pillars flanking what was once a gate, seated stone deer blotched with lichen. » Read the rest of this entry «
A few things I didn’t know about Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud before meeting him:
- He likes Jack Vance.
- He collects guitars, preferring folk and old-time music, but claims he plays poorly.
- He has all the albums of Ry Cooder, John Fahey, and Norman Blake.
- He has a dog named Zip. At one point, he had five dogs: Nebuline, Gilda…
Anyway, I thought it might be time for a fun little picture quiz. Who’s who?
I will be in attendance this coming Tuesday, 7:30pm, at the Institut Français to see Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud discuss short stories. Londoners please come! Tell your British friends!
Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud and Helen Simpson on Short Stories » Read the rest of this entry «
An excerpt from the first volume of a major French graphic memoir—a founding work in the form—and a pioneering look into gay life: Fabrice Neaud’s comics diary, Journal. The lag time for crossing the Atlantic was a bit long for this one: published in 2000, it covers a period from February 1992 to September 1993.