Posts filed under 'blog'

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.

Weekly News Roundup, 20 November 2015: We’ve Got Ted to Thank

This week's literary highlights from across the world

Happy Friday, Asymptote! Do you have Thanksgiving reading? Distract from your family with novels from Korea—here are five Korean-language tomes (in translation) you should read now. Or you could use Jamaican novelist Marlon James’ recent Man Booker win as an opportunity to uncover more about today’s Caribbean writing. Belarusian Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich isn’t widely available in English—yet: three more of her nonfiction works will soon be published through Random House. And if you haven’t by now, you’ve no excuse anymore: check out new Azerbaijani literature through a new, super-easy online portal. READ MORE…

Poetry in Translation: An Internet Love Story

A fortuitous poetic encounter leads to a blog, a project, and a quest for poetry-in-translation.

One day last February, I found a few words by Gertrude Stein on the Internet, only to discover that the day happened to be the 140th anniversary of her birthday. The next morning, I reached for a collection of poems by the Czech Beat poet Vladimira Čerepková only to learn that—by chance—she would be celebrating her birthday on that day. The third day, I started to wonder if I could find a poet who was born that day, too. And I did. And only the devil knew why I decided to look for 365 poets, one for every day of the year.

This is how my blog, útržky (fragments), was born. At first, I looked only for Czech poets and/or Czech poetry translations, illustrating the poems with my photographs—most of them taken on the very day, but quite a few on my trips to (Jewish) cemeteries, Prague, Copenhagen and my walks around my city of Brno. READ MORE…

What We’re Reading in July

What members of Asymptote's team have been reading—juicy, super-sweaty summer edition!

Adrian Nathan West (Contributing Editor): German writer Hans Henny Jahnn is one of the least classifiable writers of the twentieth century, and the relative paucity of his work in English translation is perplexing. Among his compatriots, his admirers included Bertolt Brecht, Thomas Mann, Peter Weiss, and Wolfgang Koeppen—the last of whom compared Jahnn’s prose style to Martin Luther’s Bible; Jahnn is one of the poets cited in Roberto Bolaño’s “Unknown University;” and more recently, he was the subject of a long blog post by Dennis Cooper. The philosophical currents underlying his work have much in common with Georges Bataille: the focus on the limit-experience, often attained through an agony that grazes against beatitude, the emphasis on the organic substrate of conscious life, and an unsettling combination of orgiastic excess and monastic quietude characterize both men’s work, though Jahnn’s precise and involuted language is far more innovative than Bataille’s. READ MORE…

Weekly News Roundup, 3rd April 2015: Judges Bicker, Joke’s on You!

This week's literary highlights from across the world

Happiest of Fridays! Hard to believe we are already entering the fourth month of 2015. But this stretch of spring means we’re well into literary awards season, as well as awards-speculation. Close to our heart, Three Percent‘s Best Translated Book Award is just iiiiinches away from announcing the long-awaited longlist. Want some clues? Tickle your curiosity here and here. And the judges for the United States-based National Book Award have been announced. And in the Morning News’ Tournament of Books, judge Steven Merritt has ruffled feathers with disparaging reviews of Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light we Cannot See.  READ MORE…

Asymptote Blog Wants YOU!

We're on the hunt for new contributors!

It’s that time of year again, dear readers—we at Asymptote blog are on the hunt for the freshest, funniest, most clever and on-the-pulse writing you’ve got, related to literature, translation, and the way words shape our world.

Like our journal, we are committed to publishing creative, original, and knife-sharp pieces in conversation with world literature, translation, and global culture—which means we love to read and publish original pieces and translations by writers, thinkers, and artists like you. So if you have something to say, read on—and get in touch!

Asymptote blog looks for voice, depth, and topicality in its postings. We welcome regular and one-time contributors, and publish essays, dispatches from literary events, interviews, book reviews, in-depth examinations of the world-at-literature and the world-at-large, as well as weekly new translations of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama!


Highlights from the blog’s recent past include:

Nina Sparling takes an up-close look at food, translation, and literature—how do we read “terroir,” Emile Zola’s Les Halles, and Colette’s kicked fish? 

Florian Duijsens’s “Pop Around the World” column examines House of the Rising Sun,” well, around the world. 

In The Tiff, a new recurring column, leading translators debate some of the field’s most pressing current issues. 

Matthew Spencer’s on-the-edge column The Orbital Library teases out the intersections of the sci-fi genre and translation.

A conversation between two legends of Russian-to-English literary translation is uncovered—picking bones over a Russian restaurant menu, of all things.

Josh Billings discusses the often-fascinating histories behind the wheeling-and-dealing ghosts of world literature—its translators!


If you’d like to contribute, but don’t quite know where to start, here are a few simple ways you can join the list of blog contributors:

1. We’re looking for reviewers to write about new translated or translation-related books. In your e-mail, talk about a few works you would like to review and why.

2. We’re also looking for translations, published every Tuesday in an ongoing series (predictably dubbed Translation Tuesday). In your e-mail, let us know your translation ideas, as well as your connections with authors or specific works. Permission and rights are necessary prior to publishing.

3. We’re looking for general musings related to translation, poetics, writing, the industry, current events, politics, visual arts, film—whatever fits your fancy! We’re amenable to all sorts of different writing

Variety is our bread-and-butter, so if you have something new you’re itching to say, we might just be the platform for you! Please send us a proposal with some information about you, how you’d like to contribute, and a writing or translation sample at Rolling deadline.

Weekly News Roundup, 5th September 2014: Nobel Bets, Italian Talent Galore

This week's literary highlights from across the world

Happy September, translation friends! ’Tis the season for fall, or spring, depending on your relation to the equator (in any case, happily changing foliage awaits).

We often lament that non-English-language authors go unfairly un-translated, while their anglophone counterparts enjoy worldwide fame. Not this time: celebrated British author Martin Amis’s latest World War II novel, The Zone of Interest, will likely not appear in French or German translation. But Japanese heavyweight and writing machine Haruki Murakami is slated to publish yet another novel this coming December, hot on the heels of his latest release (at only 96 pages, this one is no IQ84). And other publishers just have to compete: here’s news of book publishers attempting to successfully pull off the ol’ “Murakami One-Two,” including Norwegian Karl Ove Knausgaard (My Struggle 3.5, thanks to Archipelago Books), and a fresh release of Chilean mastermind Roberto Bolaño’s earlier work through New Directions Press. Meanwhile, here’s an appreciation of an author I’m personally thrilled to have read in translation: Argentine all-around genius Julio Cortázar, who would be one hundred years old this month, but doesn’t read a day over yesterday. And finally, none other than Newsweek has decided to profile the hardworking and far-too-invisible people who facilitate global reading: the translators. The article features an interview with translational superstars like Edith Grossman and Natasha Wimmer.


Be a Part of Asymptote Blog!

Our first-ever call for blog contributors.

Like the quarterly journal (now open for submissions), Asymptote blog is devoted to publishing creative and critical pieces related to world literature, culture, and translation—which means we love to read and publish original pieces and translations by writers like you. So if you have something to say, read on and get in touch!