Happy Friday, Asymptote. Translation lets us read to challenge our canon. And the Millions (satirically) wills us (Americans) to make the canon great again. And Taiwanese literature may be growing in its global presence, thanks to the National Museum of Taiwanese Literature’s translation initiative, which will sponsor literary translations into sixteen languages. Speaking of industry insiders wheeling-and-dealing, here’s Eida Rotor, Penguin Classics’ Filipino publisher.
From Hong Kong, bookseller Lam Wing-Kee describes his five months of detention in a Chinese prison—detention that includes solitary confinement, battery, and 24-hour surveillance by six rotating guards. Meanwhile, the New Yorker wonders if how well Freudian psychoanalysis can fare in mainland China, a country increasingly plagued by the problems of a far-reaching authoritarianism. Meanwhile, American poet Adrienne Rich’s work deftly explores poetics and politics in the same slight of hand.
In light of the horrific attacks in Orlando, let’s reflect on the status of Queer literature today (in triumph). And American poet Maggie Smith’s poem, “Good Bones,” went viral in Orlando’s wake: here it is.
We often associate magical realism with the Latin American “boom” in literature—Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Márquez obviously comes to mind—but “magical realism” can be traced to heavy-hitters in Russia‘s vibrant literary scene, too. And the Jaipur Literature Festival may be located a continent away, but the world’s largest literary festival still makes a pitstop in scenic Boulder, Colorado.
We’re in the “golden age of podcasting,” so if you aren’t listening to Asymptote’s very own podcast, you should be listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s latest, called “Revisionist History.” And even if you haven’t been able to read your cursive for years, it’s important you are still able to write that extra difficult curly G.