Author Archives: smilkova

GETTING INSIDE THE OUTSIDE: ANDRÉ DU BOUCHET’S “OUTSIDE,” TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH BY ERIC FISHMAN AND HOYT ROGERS

By John Taylor Following upon Hoyt Rogers and Paul Auster’s translation of André du Bouchet’s Openwork (Yale University Press, 2014), this fascinating new translation, Outside—by Rogers and Eric Fishman—draws attention once again to a seminal figure in postwar French poetry. Thematically and philosophically, if not from a stylistic perspective, du Bouchet (1924-2001) can be associated […]

Unlived Lives in Natalia Ginzburg’s “Valentino” and “Sagittarius,” Translated from Italian by Avril Bardoni

By Eric Gudas One refers, as a commonplace, to “the unlived life”; but fiction excels at dramatizing people’s myriad unlived lives. Natalia Ginzburg’s fiction links stifled hopes and ambitions with suppressed speech. The narrators of Ginzburg’s Valentino and Sagittarius: Two Novellas (1957), which New York Review Books Classics has just reissued in Avril Bardoni’s decades-old […]

A Curse on All Dissidents? An Interview with editor and translator Anatoly Kudryavitsky

By Ainsley Morse The collection Accursed Poets: Dissident Poetry from Soviet Russia (Smokestack Books, 2020) presents a bilingual selection of late-Soviet-era work from eighteen Russian-language poets. The poets’ work is featured in alphabetical order: Gennady Aigi, Yuri Aikhenvald, Yuli Daniel, Vladimir Earl(e), Yuri Galanskov, Natalia Gorbanevskaya, Igor Kholin, Viktor Krivulin, Evgeny Kropivnitsky, Viktor Nekipelov, Vsevolod […]

“I’d like to believe you”: Peter Stamm’s “The Sweet Indifference of the World,” Translated from German by Michael Hofmann

Both Stamm and Hoffmann have earned the right to be self-congratulatory — The Sweet Indifference is virtuosic.

Modernist Nostalgia: Joseph Roth’s “The Coral Merchant,” translated from German by Ruth Martin

Martin has selected six of Roth’s most beautiful and penetrating stories, written between 1920 (the year Roth moved from Vienna to Berlin) and 1939 (the year Roth died in his Parisian exile), for this volume.

“Lost and Found”: Franz Kafka’s “The Lost Writings,” Translated from German by Michael Hofmann

Anyone who is interested in Kafka—which is to say pretty much everyone who is interested in literature—will be curious to read the “lost writings” of a man who famously, at the time of his death, wanted all of his unpublished work destroyed.

Alone With One’s Thoughts: Henri Bosco’s “Malicroix,” translated from French by Joyce Zonana

Before the story begins, Bosco alludes to a number of pages omitted from the novel and reserved for that moment when “someone truly qualified” might gain access. And so Malicroix puzzles and conceals even after it is closed.

“Drawing a Blank”: Hiroko Oyamada’s “The Hole,” translated from Japanese by David Boyd

By Alex Andriesse It’s not always clear what is happening in Hiroko Oyamada’s The Hole, but by the time the reader notices how little he understands, he is too immersed in the novel to put it down. Obviously, I am speaking in the third person about my own experience, but I doubt that this experience […]

On the Scale of Conflict, its Crimes and Traumas: Adania Shibili’s Minor Detail, Translated from Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette

By Sheera Talpaz “Try to remember some details,” implores the speaker of one of Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai’s well-known poems (Amichai, 318). In translation, it’s impossible to tell that the original Hebrew recalls the Passover Haggadah’s Rabbi Yehuda (naturally), who proffered a mnemonic for the ten plagues, brutal punishments that God memorably rained down on […]

Halcyon Days: Adrien Goetz’s “Villa of Delirium,” translated from French by Natasha Lehrer

The novel falls within the greater readiness in French culture to reckon with the nation’s anti-Semitic past than its colonialism.