Tag Archives: literary reviews

Translating Natalia Ginzburg’s “Voice That Says ‘I’” in the Twenty-First Century

By Eric Gudas For decades, no matter how many of my books sit boxed up in storage, I’ve always had a tattered photocopy of the chapter entitled “The End of the Affair,” from Natalia Ginzburg’s novel Voices in the Evening (1961) in the translation by D.M. Low first published in 1963 by Hogarth Press. This […]

Putting a Brave Face on Loneliness and Loss: Natalia Ginzburg’s “Family” and “Borghesia”

By Jeanne Bonner I do not think of Natalia Ginzburg as a sad figure or a writer of sad, tragic works. I’ve seen her in old interviews, and I’ve read her nonfiction work. Archival photos often show her smiling. She was not melodramatic. She did not seek pity or any kind of rapt attention beyond […]

Translation as Nourishment: Translator Zsuzsa Koltay in Conversation with Béla Szegedi-Szabó

This is an excerpt from an interview with Zsuzsa Koltay whose translation from Hungarian of Nándor Gion’s Soldier with Flower came out in 2020. The interview was originally published in Hungarian and subsequently translated in English by Owen Good for Hungarian Literature Online. Many thanks to Owen for allowing us to run this excerpt. Reading […]

Art and Politics: María Negroni’s “The Annunciation,” translated by Michelle Gil-Montero

In this deeply philosophical, semi-autobiographical novel, acclaimed Argentine poet Negroni explores a question that has figured in her writing for decades: the relationship between the aesthetic and the ethical, the poetic and the political.

Writing Through Memory and Digging Through Secrets of the Past: Mykola Bazhan’s “Quiet Spiders of the Hidden Soul,” edited by Oksana Rosenblum, Lev Fridman, and Anzhelika Khyzhnia

The poems included in Quiet Spiders precede a tragedy in Ukrainian history, the Holodomor, or famine of 1932-1933, and the period known as the Executed Renaissance when a generation of Soviet writers and artists were wiped out by Stalin’s regime.

Nostalgia as Oblivion in Nelson Simòn’s “Itinerary of Forgetting,” Translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel

By Cal Paule It’s funny, but I forgot where I left my copy of this book. It’s lost for now, but luckily I have a pdf version. If, though, it were the memory of the exact color of my mother’s hair, or the angles of a roofline above my hometown, I might not be as […]

Marina and Me: Nina Kossman’s “Other Shepherds: Poems with Translations from Marina Tsvetaeva”

If you know Tsvetaeva well, it’s hard not to reconstruct the original mentally while reading the translation.

Translators and Their Ghosts: Iginio Ugo Tarchetti’s “Fantastic Tales,” Translated from Italian by Lawrence Venuti

Iginio Ugo Tarchetti’s Fantastic Tales (Archipelago Books, 2020) is a reprint of the 1992 original Mercury House edition translated from Italian by Lawrence Venuti, one of the most influential scholars of translation today.

Translating Silence: Giuseppe Ungaretti’s “Allegria,” translated from Italian by Geoffrey Brock

By Elena Borelli When translating Giuseppe Ungaretti’s first volume of poetry, originally published in 1919 and subsequently reissued in various editions, Geoffrey Brock has chosen to leave the title in the original Italian. The  translation of the word allegria as “merriment” or “mirth” would be misleading for the reader, especially because in the very first […]

Translation is a Performance of Language: An Interview with Translator and Poet Will Schutt

I’m not sure there’s an Italian word for microaggression. If there is, it is probably lifted from americano.

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 […]

“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.

“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 […]

A Life of Ruptures: Frédéric Pajak’s “Uncertain Manifesto,” Translated from French by Donald Nicholson-Smith

A novel that traverses generic as well as geographic and historical boundaries, Uncertain Manifesto switches, from chapter to chapter, between autobiography, essay, illustrated novel, history, literary analysis and fable-like fiction.