Posts filed under 'Ecuador'

Weekly Dispatches from the Frontlines of World Literature

Hot off the press—your handy guide to all the literary happenings in the UK, Spain, Argentina, and Peru!

We’re in the second half of the year and summer—or winter, depending on where you are located—is full of literary activities. From the announcement of the Man Booker Prize longlist and the release of a new book by a beloved Spanish poet to Argentinian bookselling events, Asymptote editors are telling it all!

Executive Assistant Cassie Lawrence reporting from the UK:

Two days ago, the Man Booker Prize longlist was released, comprising a list of literary heavyweights and two debut novelists. The most hyped title, perhaps—and the most expected one—is The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Arundhati Roy’s first work of fiction in two decadesChosen from 144 submissions, the longlist has 13 titles, often referred to as the “Man Booker Dozen.” Other authors on the longlist include Zadie Smith, Mohsin Hamid, Ali Smith and Colson Whitehead.

On Monday, July 17, the London Book Fair (LBF) recorded a webcast on “Creativity, Crafts and Careers in Literary Translation.” Three panelists—translator Frank Wynne, agent Rebecca Carter and consultant and editor Bill Swainson—joined acclaimed journalist, Rosie Goldsmith to speak on the opportunities and challenges in getting world literature translated. The webcast followed from a successful programme at LBF’s Literary Translation Centre last spring, and was funded by Arts Council England.

In other news, two-times Booker-winning publisher One World have paid a six-figure sum for a YA trilogy from US actor Jason Segel, reports The Bookseller. The first title, Otherworld, is due to be released on October 31 this year, and will center on a virtual reality game with dark consequences. Segal, known for his roles in films such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I Love You, Man has written the trilogy with his writing partner, Kirsten Miller. READ MORE…

Weekly Dispatches from the Frontlines of World Literature

A trip around the literary world, from USA to Latin America to the Czech Republic.

The weekend is upon us—here’s a detailed look at the week that was by our editors-at-large. In the United States, Madeline Jones reports directly from the trenches of the Book Expo in New York City. A gathering of publishers, booksellers, agents, librarians, and authors, the event is the largest of its kind in North America. We also have Sarah Moses filling us in with tidings from Colombia and Argentina, and updates on the Bogotá39, a group of thirty-nine Latin American writers considered to be the finest of their generation. Finally, Julia Sherwood brings us some hot off the press literary news from the Czech Republic. Settle in and get reading.

Madeline Jones, Editor-at-Large, reports from the United States:

Last week in New York City, Book Expo (formerly Book Expo America) set up shop at the famously-disliked Javits Center on western edge of Midtown Manhattan. Publishers, literary agencies, scouts, booksellers, and readers gathered for discussions about the future of publishing, meetings about foreign rights deals, publicity and media “speed-dating” sessions, and more. Authors and editors spoke about their latest books for audiences of industry insiders, and lines trailed from various publisher booths for galley signings.

Though the floor was noticeably quieter than previous years, and certainly nothing compared to the busy hub of foreign rights negotiations that the London and Frankfurt book fairs are, Asymptote readers will be pleased to hear that multiple panel discussions and presentations were dedicated to foreign publishers, the viability of selling translations in the U.S., and indie books (which more often tend to be translations than major trade publishers’ books). READ MORE…

Interview with Cristina Burneo

An interview in Spanish and English about literary Ecuador and the bilingual poet Alfredo Gangotena

Scroll down to read the interview in Spanish. 

How did you become interested in translation?

When I was sixteen or seventeen years old, I was in my last year of high school, and our German teacher—a man named Herbert Wöhlers, who was my German teacher for six years, and one of the most amazing teachers I had (now he lives in Heidelberg)—had us read and translate a Rilke poem. I found myself reading, interpreting, deciphering, re-writing, and I was fascinated, it made me happy. Especially because it was poetry, already my favorite kind of writing. I haven’t translated Rilke again, and I’ve almost never translated from German since, but it doesn’t matter. That drive to translate had been built into my writing and my reading.

You’ve done a lot of work with the poetry of Alfredo Gangotena, who lived in France and wrote in French. Did those things complicate his relationship with Ecuadorian society? Do you think that translations of his work into Spanish have been important for that reason?

Yes, of course, writing in French and then coming to the Andes poses a problem. What sense does it make for an afrancesado poet to come back to Quito and keep writing in French? It felt like a slap in the face to the “well-to-do” members of the Ecuadorian cultural circles. Benjamín Carrión referred indirectly to the afrancesados as decadent, prisoners of complacency. He even suggested that francophiles and effeminates were dangerously close to each other.

Gangotena was out of place in that sense. When he died, a close friend of the poet, Riofrío, announced that his work would be translated… but the emerging translation project only came into being in the hands of other poet translators, Gonzalo Escudero and Filoteo Samaniego, in 1956, twelve years after Gangotena’s death.

It’s very important that we have wanted to keep translating Gangotena. Without translation there’s no revision, or culture, or the option of doubting the official versions of history and literature. Today, I wonder how it is that standard image of the hard, masculine, and committed intellectual excludes other figures, like that of Alfredo Gangotena. For that reason, translating his poetry also requires us to question our own ideas about Ecuadorian culture, ideas that require us to perform our nationality and our intellectual lives in the prescribed way. Gangotena, to a great extent, resisted that obligation.