On this episode of the Asymptote Podcast, we dive once more into the archives to tune into some of the riches that Asymptote has offered readers over the last 30 (now 31!) issues. Pick up where Podcast Editor Dominick Boyle left off in his last episode to listen to recordings from 2014 up to the present issue. Hear a thought provoking essay by Nobel laureate Herta Müller on the space between languages, along with an experimental translation of poetry by Nenten Tsubouchi that fully embraces this space. A fragmented, anonymous love poem in Old English translated by Christopher Patton and an electric reading by poet Steven Alvarez in English, Spanish, and Nahuatl round out the episode. Take a listen, and revel in the riches.
Access some of Asymptote's most iconic recordings from the last four years alongside Podcast Editor Dominick Boyle
We're back with weekly updates in world literature from around the globe!
We’re back with our regular Friday column featuring weekly dispatches from our Asymptote team, telling you more about events in world literature. Join us on a journey to Guatemala and Chile, before heading to New York City, to find out more about the latest in world literature.
José García Escobar, Editor-At-Large, reporting from Guatemala:
We begin with great news coming from the Guatemalan author Eduardo Halfon whose novel Mourning (Duelo in Spanish) got shortlisted for the 2018 Kirkus Prize. Halfon, whom we interviewed for our blog last June, is sitting beside other fantastic writers such as Ling Ma, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, and Lauren Groff. Mourning, published by Bellevue Literary Press, was translated into English by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn. The winner will be announced on Thursday, October 25, 2018.
Additionally, Halfon was just declared the recipient of the 2018 Miguel Angel Asturias National Prize in Literature, the most important literary prize in Guatemala.
On a much sadder note, recently, one of Guatemala’s most influential and emblematic poets, Julio Fausto Aguilera has passed away at the age of 88. He won the Miguel Angel Asturias prize, in 2002; he was part of the arts collective Saker-Ti, and one of the founding members of Nuevo Signo—arguably one of the most important literary groups in Central America. He wrote close to twenty books of poetry, and his family confirmed that he left two manuscripts that they hope will get published soon. Francisco Morales Santos, his friend en Nuevo Signo’s editor, called Julio Fausto a worthy and unbreakable man. Many other writers such as Vania Vargas and the most recent winner of the Miguel Angel Asturias Prize, Francisco Alejandro Méndez, also mourned the death of Aguilera.
To read more about Aguilera and Nuevo Signo, click here.
Translated from the Old English by Spenser Santos
May I utter truth for myself,
to say of trials, how in the times of toil
I often withstood wearisome times,
bitter breastcare, how I have bided,
come to know on a ship, abode of much care,
the terrible seawave’s rolling often held me there,
anxious nightwatch at the boat’s prow,
when it pitched against cliffs. Pinched by cold
were my feet, frostbound
with cold fetters, there the sighs of care
were hot around the heart; hunger tore from within
the mereweary mood. That the man,
to whom the most pleasant on earth befalls, knows not
how I, wretched and sorrowful, on the ice-cold sea
dwelled in winter in the paths of an exile,
bereft of beloved kinsmen and
hung with icicles; hail flew in showers.
There I heard naught but the sea to roar,
the frigid wave. Sometimes the swan’s song
did I take for entertainment, the gannet’s cry
and curlew’s sound for men’s laughter,
the seagull’s singing for mead.
Storms there beat the stony cliffs, where
the tern, the icy-feathered one, answers him,
very often the eagle screamed round about,
the dewy-feathered one; not any protecting kinsmen
could comfort the wretched spirit. READ MORE…