Posts filed under 'new york times'

Summer 2016: In-Between Times

How can we get past a feeling of being shipwrecked among the intensity of our selves?

After our first mention in The New York Times in June 2015 (which merely notes that there is a real-life counterpart to the journal by the name of “Asymptote” in Alena Smith’s drama), April 2016 sees our second mention and two key members stepping down. The departure of Senior Editor Florian—a friend from my time at The New School whose support has been a great source of strength for me, personally—is a great setback. But April 2016 also ushers in our first-ever monthly report, a two-page summary of each month’s activities which I’ll make available to the public for the first time here. Designed by Theophilus Kwek to be easily skimmed, this internal report not only records Asymptote‘s progress across the board each month, but also represents my commitment to transparency of the magazine’s financials. After all, as any serious dieter knows, tracking stats that matter is the way to go. A quick glance reveals that we spent $1,798 (all figures in USD) in total over April, while only $247 has come in through small donations and the sale of one publicity package. This means that over the month of April, Asymptote has bled $1,551 (which I cover either with funds previously raised or out of my own pocket). For the first three monthly reports (i.e., from April to June 2016), these figures do not yet include wages for Asymptote‘s only full-time team member (i.e., me). It is only in July 2016, exactly six years after I conceived the journal and opened a tab in my name that would add up to 70,000 USD while also foregoing a full-time salary all these years, that I begin to stipulate my own remuneration. This obviously doesn’t change the fact that monthly incoming funds are still a trickle compared to monthly outgoing funds, but at least it sets up a proper accounting as to how much I am being owed by my own organization. Here to introduce our Summer 2016 issue—possibly our most diverse ever, with 34 countries being represented and featuring additional translations into Albanian, Bengali, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, Greek, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Slovak, and Tamil—is Assistant Editor Andreea Scridon.

What are our human perceptions made of? Water. Our nervous systems, the machineries of feeling, float in a quiet, dark world of water. Our most dramatic moments—at least in terms of development—take place in amniotic fluid. This quasi-godlike and continuous source of life is a trope that never runs dry. Yet in addition to its undeniable positive qualities, it makes for an inevitable metaphor for inner turmoil: after all, doesn’t turbulence stem from an aquatic scenario? The idea of fluidity, increasingly present in a contemporary world with an unstable future, further complicates things.

On the subject of “in-between times”, after finishing university a friend described herself as feeling as though she’d been soaked and left out in the sun to dry. Yet for a good writer (the kind I’d like to be), anxieties of this sort can acquire a kaleidoscopic quality on the page. How do we anchor ourselves to the world? How can we get past a feeling of being shipwrecked among the intensity of our selves? Can we even psychologically approach that which seems beyond our conception and our control? Finding myself too drenched by such ruminations to draw any conclusions, I turned to the varied readings of Asymptote’s Summer 2016 Issue. READ MORE…

Weekly News Roundup, 4 December 2015: Best-Of Lists Of Best Lists

This week's (and year's!) literary highlights from across the world

Happy Friday, Asymptote friends! The end of the calendar year is nigh, and that means one thing: there are no more new releases (or—there are less of them, as you’ll see in next week’s New in Translation post), and there are a whole lot of year-end lists. Impressively, the New York Times’ famous top 10 includes three whole books (!) in translation (Magda Szabo’s The Door, translated by Len Rix, Elena FerranteThe Story of the Lost Child, translated by Ann Goldstein, and Asne Seierstad’s One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre of Norway, translated by Sarah Death). If you’d like the scope to zoom out a bit, look at the Times’ notable 100 in 2015, thirteen percent of which is composed of literature in translation (given sad stats of the past, this is actually pretty darn good!—though the translation statistics of the past two years, available at Three Percent, make us less giddily optimistic). Finally, take a look at another English-language publication across the pond: the Guardian asks famous writers what their favorite reads of the year proved to beREAD MORE…

Weekly News Roundup, 9th January 2015 (!): Robot Russian, Twin Anna Kareninas

This week's literary highlights from across the world

Happy 2015! This is the first roundup of 2015, but we’re already nine days in—have you broken your resolution yet? (I certainly haven’t been meditating every day). Even if your good intentions have been wavering now that we’re (over a) week in to the new year, do something good for yourself and for global literature by donating to Asymptote‘s Indiegogo campaign—every little bit counts and helps this blog and our big-brother journal publish the world’s best literature for free! READ MORE…

Weekly News Roundup, 5th December 2014: Lorca Re-found

This week's literary highlights from across the world

Anyone with a literary pulse noted (and mourned) the passing of former United States poet laureate Mark Strand (here’s a primer to some of Strand’s work, which “moved from common to sublime,” as well as an interview with the Paris Review). And the United Kingdom lost its queen of crime fiction, P. D. James. Finally, another poet passed, but was rediscovered: some of beloved Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca’s remains may have been uncovered, perhaps (but only perhaps) offering some answers to those still mystified by his tragic death-by-firing-squad.  READ MORE…