Monthly Archives: January 2014

Weekly News Roundup, 10th January 2014: Looking ahead, Literary algorithms, Standard English’s imminent death

A look at some of the most important literary news of the past week

Hindsight is 20/20. Only one-and-a-half weeks into the new year, here at Asymptote we’re still mulling on what the past year means for the one to come. 2014 promises to be a good year for new translations, highlighted in part by the English PEN center’s most-anticipated in 2014 compilation, or Publishers Weekly’s take on graphic novels in translation.


What We’re Up To

A monthly roundup about Asymptote's team

Our monthly news roundup about Asymptote’s international team continues with more from our busy editors. Here’s what they’ve been up to recently.


Pop Around The World: الأرنب الأبيض

Cover songs in American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street

There’s a great deal of music in American Hustle (originally and more appropriately called American Bullshit), no surprise for a period picture that takes great care with the costumes and especially the curls of its con-men characters. What is surprising is that a great deal of the admittedly great music chosen is a little rote, either in terms of sonic 70s shorthand (Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” stands for disco and drugs) or through blunt lyrical parallels (Santana’s “Evil Ways” or Steely Dan’s “Dirty Work”). It’s not all that obvious, though, as on-set improvisation led director David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence to take Wings’ “Live and Let Die” and turn McCartney’s Bond tune into a villainous call to arms for Lawrence’s dangerously unbalanced character.


My Onegin

The prize-winning Slovak translator on Pushkin

I don’t claim to be an expert on Pushkin’s poetry, in fact I might say there’s only one work of his I’m thoroughly acquainted with, and that’s Eugene Onegin. I‘ve read his lyrical and epic poetry, his fiction, drama and correspondence, of course, and have read up on the poet and his work, yet Eugene Onegin holds quite an exceptional place in my reading and perception of Pushkin.


“The Guest Cat” by Takashi Hiraide

An excerpt from the novella

Today’s post is a selection from Takashi Hiraide’s The Guest Cat, translated from the Japanese by Eric Selland. A bestseller in France and the winner of the Kiyama Shohei Literary Award in Japan, the novella concerns a couple in their thirties living in a small rented cottage in a quiet section of Tokyo. They work at home and have reached a point in their relationship where they no longer have much to say to one another. The arrival of a cat changes things. Hiraide is a poet, and his writing is at once fast and delicate, attuned to the finest details in his characters’ lives. The Guest Cat will be published by New Directions on January 28. 


Arunava Sinha answers our Proust Questionnaire

A "Lydia Davis" Questionnaire

Who is your favorite fictional character of all time?

Arthur from The Once and Future King by T H White.