Asymptote Editor and Contributor News, April Edition

Productive as ever, Asymptote's phenomenal editors and contributors continue to shake up the literary world

Contributor News

Dolan Morgan’s short story collection, That’s When the Knives Come Down, is now available for presale. Eric Nelson writes in Electric Literature that the “unparalleled voice of this debut is surely one that will be copied, but not replicated by future writers,” and other critics have called the work “devlishly clever” and “wry, seductive, and breathtaking.” Read the work’s synopsis, and watch its trailer for a preview of the work’s humor and surrealism.

Contributors to our very first issue Efe Murad and Sidney Wade have won the first annual Meral Divitci Award for their translation of The Selected Poems of Melih Cevdet Anday. Stay tuned: we hear that the book will be released next year.

Bitter Oleander Press also has a new release from Asymptote contributors John Taylor and José-Flore Tappy. Sheds/Hangars is a bilingual volume that collects all of José-Flore Tappy’s poetry to date for the first time in English translation. We can’t wait to read this work, which translator Taylor previously discussed in Asymptote’s January 2012 issue (as it turns out, Taylor’s essay became a substantial part of his introduction).

Italy’s MART (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto) presents the work of Sherman Ong, guest artist for Asymptote’s July 2011 issue, in a new exhibition called Lost in Landscape,” dedicated to contemporary landscape and its many meanings. Ong is shown alongside Marina Abramović, Agnès Varda, and Michael Wolf in this important show—so don’t miss out!


Editor News

German-language literature fans, rejoice (those of you in New York City, anyway). Contributing editor Adrian West will be joining Austrian author Josef Winkler and special guests at a unique literary musical-event at the Austrian Cultural Forum on April 29. That evening, Winkler will read from his work in German and West will read the corresponding texts from Natura Morta and When The Time Comes in English.

Fans of Alex Cigale’s Asymptote Blog interview, don’t despair: after the editor-at-large for Central Asia’s probing discussion of Russian Futurism and the Russian poet Serge Segay, Cigale has stayed busy. The New England Review featured his translations of Osip Mandelstam and Vladimir Narbut; Thermos Magazine his work on Fedor Svarovsky; and, for National Translation Month, Cigale translated work by the father of Russian Futurism, David Burlyuk.

Asymptote editor-at-large for Italy Antony Shugaar stirred up controversy in the Washington Post recently with his opinion piece, “The Maryland motto is sexist in any language.” It all comes down to a question of translation: the state of Maryland claims that their motto, “Fatti maschii, parole femine,” means “strong deeds, gentle words”—while Shugaar advances a more direct translation: “Manly deeds, womanly words.” Ouch. What side are you on?

Cha: An Asian Literary Journal published Asymptote editor-at-large for Nepal Elen Turner’s review of Vipul Rikhi’s intriguingly titled novel, 2012 Nights. Though Turner found the narrator’s drunkenness a less-than-useful device, Turner recommends the novel to fans of experimental fiction and praises the author’s supple imagination.

Asymptote contributing editor Ellen Elias-Bursac participated in the translator relay at Words Without Borders, answering questions about how she began her career; the necessity of a sense of humor in translation; and her future projects, which include new works by David Albahari. She compares translations to maps, and explains that a hypothetical map “exactly the same size as what it represents […] is of no use at all, just as the perfect translation—a Utopian projection—would be nowhere near as interesting as the translations we produce with their strategies and compromises.”


Congratulations to the Asymptote contributors (in bold) now finalists for the Best Translated Book Awards:

Poetry Finalists:

His Days Go By the Way Her Years, by Ye Mimi, translated from the Chinese by Steve Bradbury (Taiwan; Anomalous Press).

A Guest in the Wood, by Elsa Biagini, translated from the Italian by Diana Thow, Sarah Stickney, and Eugene Ostashevsky (Italy; Chelsea Editions).

Fiction Finalists:

Blinding, by Mirceau Cărtărescu, translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter (Archipelago Books).

Tirza, by Arnon Grunberg, translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett (Netherlands; Open Letter Books).

Seiobo There Below, by László Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet (Hungary; New Directions).


Are you a past contributor and do you have exciting literary news to share? If so, drop us an email at listing@asymptotejournal with the relevant hyperlink to your news by the 15th of every month. We’ll help you plug it!

Images via Aforementioned Productions and Maryland Office of the Secretary of State