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Asymptote Podcast: Literature and Lies

A new episode has landed!

In this episode, we’re unveiling wild new poetry in translation from Asymptote’s Fall Issue, by taking a close listen to poems by Iran’s Rasool Yoonan (read in Persian by Amir Maleki and in English by Siavash Saadlou), Singapore’s Tan Chee Lay (read by the poet himself) and Iraq’s Jan Dammu (read by translator Suneela Mubayi).  Metaphors unfurl from these lines and stretch into works of art. Finally, we’ll consider the written component of the multimedia poem, “First Person,” by Taiwan’s Hsia Yü. To help us unpack how a translator navigates the original writer’s web, our podcast editor Layla Benitez-James turns to Anita Raja’s essay, Translation as a Practice of Acceptance, which we also featured in the Fall 2016 issue. Exploring lies, little and big histories, and figuring out what Proust is doing in an action movie, this is the Asymptote podcast.

Podcast Editor and Host: Layla Benitez-James

Audio Editor: Mirza Puric

 

Asymptote Podcast: Literature in Transit

A new episode goes live!

What ever happened to savoring the moment, or better yet, the moment in between two others? Why don’t stories ever focus on the euphoria of transition? There’s a lot to be learned in between point A and point B that we might not recognize. Today on the Asymptote Podcast, Blog Editor, Allegra Rosenbaum brings us literature in transit; literature from the places in between places, where the rules and regulations that govern our lives disappear behind us, as new ones loom up ahead. Allegra has spent most of her life traveling and with the help of Ezra Pound, Blaise Cendrars, Agustín Fernández Mallo, and Teju Cole, she tries to figure out what is going on in those moments of transition. This is the Asymptote Podcast.

Graphic Novel in Translation: Karim Zaimović’s “The Invisible Man from Sarajevo,” Part V

Part V in Asymptote blog's first-ever graphic novel in translation

invisibleMan_pg 28-min READ MORE…

Asymptote Podcast: Highlights from our New York Event

A new episode goes live!

Asymptote‘s fifth anniversary celebration in New York brought together top literary translators Ann Goldstein (translator of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan tetralogy) and Natasha Wimmer (translator of seven Roberto Bolaño novels including The Savage Detectives and 2666) for an evening of conversation moderated by acclaimed fiction writer Frederic Tuten. Whether you couldn’t join us in NYC or just want to revisit this fun and informative discussion, this month’s Asymptote Podcast gives you a front-row seat! Podcast Editor Daniel Goulden brings you the highlights from the New School panel, which includes introductions by Poorna Swami, our own Editor-at-Large for India, and several terrific questions brought forward by audience members during the Q&A. Download your copy now. It’s almost as good as being there in person!

This event was co-sponsored by the Liberal Studies Department, New School for Social Research.

Graphic Novel in Translation: Karim Zaimović’s “The Invisible Man from Sarajevo,” Part IV

Part IV in Asymptote blog's first-ever graphic novel in translation

Click here for parts I, II, and III in this series. 

invisibleMan_pg 21-min

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Graphic Novel in Translation: Karim Zaimović’s “The Invisible Man from Sarajevo,” Part III

Part III in Asymptote blog's first-ever graphic novel in translation

Click here for Parts I and II in this series. 

15 READ MORE…

Graphic Novel in Translation: Karim Zaimović’s “The Invisible Man from Sarajevo”

Translating genre, language, text, and image—this is Asymptote blog's first graphic novel in translation

invisibleMan_pg_01

invisibleMan_pg_02 READ MORE…

New Podcast Episode

In this month’s podcast, storytelling—from the factual to the fractured

In this episode, we look at divergent forms of storytelling in translationfrom the fact-centered world of literary reportage to the poetic proclamations of a third-millennium heart. Beatrice Smigasiewicz brings us coverage from Krakow’s Conrad Festival, where she caught up with one of Poland’s most prominent writers of literary nonfiction, Mariusz Szczygieł, and his award-winning translator, Antonia Lloyd-Jones. They discuss the legacy of 20th century reportage in Polish literature and the power of storytelling in dealing with the country’s wartime experience and postwar Communist era. Katrine Øgaard Jensen presents new translations of poems from Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s Third-Millennium Heart, an explosive collection that pushes story to the limitbreaking every rule of storytelling and yet bringing us a character who feels real. Olsen won the prestigious literary award Montanaprisen in 2013 for the book, excerpted here in its original Danish along with English translations.

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Asymptote Podcast: Home

In this month's podcast, how home is—and isn't—always where the heart is

In this episode, we look at the concept of home; how we shape it and how it shapes us. Yardenne Greenspan takes a look at literature of trauma, bringing us work by two Israeli authors Yonatan Berg and Ron Dahan, who recount the horrors they have seen (and have been a part of) in their country, as well as Yehiel De-Nur better known by his pen name, Ka-Tzetnik 135633, a Holocaust survivor who in bitter detail recounts his time in Auschwitz. What unites these authors is their experience with LSD. Flashbacks to their traumatic experiences directly inform upon their writing and present the reader with a complex portrait of trauma. Daniel Goulden brings us a report from the Brooklyn Book Fair with recordings of Jonathan Lethem, Vivian Gornick, John Leguizamo, Cecily Wong, and Chinelo Okparanta discussing their respective homes and how that informs upon their work.  READ MORE…

The Uncanny Listener… (Part 2)

More stories from the shadows, featuring Franz Kafka, Yoko Ogawa, Dean Paschal and Mansoura Ez-Eldin.

The Uncanny Listener: Stories from the Shadows (Part 2)

We’re back with a second portion of scary stories! Following on from last month’s episode, part two of our audio anthology ventures even further into the dark and dingy corners of world literature. This installment features haunting tales from Japan, Egypt, America, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with writing by Franz Kafka, Yoko Ogawa, Dean Paschal, and Mansoura Ez-Eldin. Along the way you’ll find a hallucinatory giant, a doll with a mind of its own, a hideously disfigured carrot, and the Statue of Liberty as you’ve never seen her before. Plus there’s a conversation with cultural critic Adam Kotsko about the epidemic of creepiness on our TV screens, from Happy Days to Mad Men to the Burger King commercials. Join us as we continue exploring the questions: What is the uncanny? And why do we enjoy it so much?

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The Uncanny Listener: Stories from the Shadows (Part 1)

Our newest podcast episode features creepy stories by Bruno Schulz, Ambrose Bierce, John Herdman and Felisberto Hernandez.

The Uncanny Listener: Stories from the Shadows (Part 1)

What exactly is “the uncanny“? We’ve all felt the sensation of a bloodcurdling shiver running down our spines, but when it comes to describing what that means or what caused it, we’re often left with nothing but: “it was just . . . creepy.”

In the latest episode of the Asymptote Podcast, we explore the mysterious and alluring phenomenon of getting the creeps, through the words of some of the best scary-storytellers in world literature. The Uncanny Listener: Stories from the Shadows is a chilling collage of readings that reveal the strangeness of what’s familiar and the familiarity of what’s strange. READ MORE…

In Praise of Translation

An all-new podcast episode! Listen to some of the best moments from our live event in London

If you missed our fourth anniversary event in London this January, never fear! Our newest podcast episode brings you highlights from the evening. Listen to Adam Thirlwell, Daniel Hahn, Stefan Tobler and Deborah Smith discuss books they love, translation pitfalls they avoid, and the meaning of the German euphemism “to shake the coconut from the palm tree.”

About the speakers:

Stefan Tobler is the publisher at And Other Stories, a young publishing house whose titles include the Booker Prize shortlisted Swimming Home by Deborah Levy and much literature in translation, including the Latin American authors Juan Pablo Villalobos, Iosi Havilio, Carlos Gamerro, Haroldo Conti, Yuri Herrera, Rodrigo de Souza Leão and Paulo Scott. He is a literary translator from Portuguese and German. Recent translations include All Dogs are Blue by Rodrigo de Souza Leão, Água Viva by Clarice Lispector and Silence River by Antônio Moura. @stefantobler and @andothertweets

Adam Thirlwell’s new novel, Lurid & Cute, was published in January 2015. He has written two novels, a novella, and a project with translations that includes an essay-book and an anthology edited for McSweeney’s. He has twice been selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. His work has been translated into 30 languages.

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator (from Portuguese, Spanish and French) with some forty books to his name. His work has won both the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award. He is currently chair of the Society of Authors and on the judging panel for the 2015 IMPAC Dublin Award.

Deborah Smith (@londonkoreanist) is the translator of The Vegetarian by Han Kang (Portobello Books, 2015). She has also translated The Essayist’s Desk and The Low Hills of Seoul by Bae Suah. She is currently in the final year of a Korean literature PhD at SOAS, and is setting up a non-profit publishing company which will publish translations from Asian and African languages, after apprenticing with And Other Stories.

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Unveiling Our Winter 2015 Issue Video Trailer!

Get excited for Friday with this high-octane sneak peek at our 4th Anniversary issue, out January 30!

From the sparkly trailers for previous issues that you’ll find below to our beautifully designed website, with its gorgeous illustrations and immersive slideshows of visual art, Asymptote is committed to presenting and promoting its writers and artists in great style. If you like what we do, please consider donating to our campaign—only 30 more hours to go!

 

Mythology – Part Two

A brand new episode of our podcast! This time we're heading to Israel and Georgia...

Mythology – Part Two

In part two of our Mythology feature, we dig deeper into the rich and sometimes troubling relationship between legends of old and lives of present. Where do a nation’s myths come from? What does it mean to be both proud and critical of our cultural identity? How can art reconcile or challenge the way we relate to our heritage? We dive into these questions and more through a focus on two Western Asian countries: Israel and Georgia. Yardenne Greenspan, who grew up in Tel Aviv, examines her own difficulties with accepting the state-sanctioned version of history—she talks with fellow Israeli writers about the myths surrounding Israel’s public image. And Daniel Goulden and Rron Karahoda test out J.R.R. Tolkien’s theory as to why certain languages survive and others go extinct, through a celebration of Georgian music and folklore. READ MORE…