- Pedro Novoa
- Elsa Morante
- Klara du Plessis Patrick Chamoiseau
- Jakub Woynarowski
- Pierre Joris and Sawako Nakayasu
Ready to dive into our Summer 2016 edition? We have many rich pickings from the underwater world of translation (video trailer here), including: memoirs of childhood submerged in ghosts and television; in-depth interviews with Paul Celan translator Pierre Joris and Sawako Nakayasu, winner of the 2016 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation; our colorful coral-reef Multilingual Writing Feature, this time incorporating ten different languages from as far afield as Puerto Rico, South Africa, and India; as well as fifteen fresh-from-the-sea translations of Pedro Novoa's devastating cuento breve, which, at 997 words, took first place in Peru's "Story of 1,000 Words" contest.
It's not hard to see why. At once a nautical thriller and drama-filled family saga, Pedro Novoa's masterful story delivers a powerful allegory about the blood ties that bind even when they're broken—the concatenation of islands we will nevertheless always be. The subsequent intergenerational stories by Philippe Sollers, Alessandro Cinquegrani, and Edi Matić also feature the same beating (if shrieking, squalling) heart; and we round off the Fiction section with Mahsa Mohebali's delightful take on interconnectedness via a love-story-in-footnotes.
Elsewhere, we are thrilled to give you Patrick Chamoiseau's also-very-hyphenated introduction to Martiniquais writers, both an important theoretical work and a masterpiece of creative writing. Along with David Shook's essay on translating multilingual writer Jorge Canese, it provides the perfect bungee-jumping off point to the adventurous experimentations in our Multilingual Writing Feature. Borne from a certain "multiplicity of being," these projects blur the lines between translation and original; monolingual and multilingual. Audio recordings in this section, editor Ellen Jones notes, uniquely reveal actual sounds of different languages riffing off one another.
A new sound (Xitsonga, a South African language) and some very existential investigations can be found in the Poetry section: Czech Surrealist Vítězslav Nezval, for example, presents a man composing a self-portrait out of objects, while Mikhail Eremin, of the Russian "philological school," interrogates nature, time, and myth in dense free verse octaves; and Nurduran Duman responds to Rumi's "Song of the Reed" in her urgent, questioning poems about the self's place in the world. In the aftermath of May 1968, Italian poet Elsa Morante asserts, "Fare ye well measures, directions, five senses. Fare ye well slavish duties & slavish rights & slavish judgments."
As you plumb the rest of the issue, illustrated gloriously by Andrea Popyordanova, don't miss Brian Vinero's new drama translation of Euripides (in rhymed-verse!); Trisha Gupta's review of Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay's delightfully counter-current novel, Panty; as well as a spotlight on artist Jakub Woynarowski, who repurposes images from Polish history to create spatial experiences ranging from the subtle to the sublime.
In other magazine-related news, we are adapting Daniel Hahn's popular 'Ask a Translator' column to a live event on July 20 at Waterstones Piccadilly (RSVP to the event here), and also live-streaming it on Facebook (in a first for Asymptote!) so catch us there at 1930hrs (GMT) and ask your questions from all over the world. For our Special Feature in January 2017, our sixth anniversary issue, we are looking for contemporary work from Indian languages. Find the details here, along with our call for Canadian Poetry (deadline: 1 Aug 2016).
As Asymptote prepares to turn six (without financial support from any government body or educational institution all these years), we are now urgently looking to secure our future so that we can continue operating beyond January 2017.
That's why we are rolling out a new sustaining membership program. Subscription takes just a few moments (and $10 a month), but allows us to continue bringing the freshest world literature to an audience that grows exponentially with each passing year. In return for pledging a year’s support, you will receive an Asymptote Moleskine notebook, perfect for you and your loved ones. If you value our work and our mission, become a sustaining member today. Thank you so much for your support!
—Lee Yew Leong, Editor-in-Chief
Editorial Team for Issue July 2016
Editor-in-Chief: Lee Yew Leong (Taiwan/Singapore)
Assistant Managing Editors: Sam Carter (USA), Lori Feathers (USA), Janani Ganesan (India), Justin Maki (USA)
Lee Yew Leong (Taiwan/Singapore)
Aditi Machado (India/USA)
Joshua Craze (UK/USA)
Caridad Svich (USA/UK)
Ellen Jones (UK)
Henry Ace Knight (USA)
Luisa Zielinski (Germany)
Eva Heisler (USA)
Senior Editor (Chinese): Chenxin Jiang
Assistant Editors: Alexis Almeida (USA), K. T. Billey (USA), Julia Leverone (USA), P. T. Smith (USA), and Lin Chia-wei (Taiwan)
Ellen Elias-Bursac (USA), Howard Goldblatt (USA), George Henson (USA), Aamer Hussein (Pakistan/UK), Sylvia Lin (Taiwan/USA), Sayuri Okamoto (Japan/Italy), Sim Yee Chiang (Singapore), Antony Shugaar (Italy), Dylan Suher (USA) and Adrian West (USA)
Chinese Contributing Editor: Francis Li Zhuoxiong (Hong Kong/Taiwan)
Spanish Contributing Editor: Soledad Marambio (Chile/USA)
Commissioning Editor: J.S. Tennant (UK)
Blog Editor: Allegra Rosenbaum (USA)
Assistant Blog Editor: Nina Sparling (USA)
Interview Features Editor: Ryan Mihaly (USA)
Assistant Copy Editor: Will Rees (UK)
Podcast Editor: Daniel Goulden (USA)
Educational Arm Assistants: Claire Pershan (Abu Dhabi/USA) and Lindsay Semel (USA)
Editor-at-large, Australia: Beau Lowenstern
Editor-at-large, Belgium: Veronka Köver
Editor-at-large, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Mirza Puric
Editor-at-large, Canada: Marc Charron
Editor-at-large, Egypt: Omar El Adl
Editor-at-large, Hong Kong: Charlie Ng Chak-Kwan
Editors-at-large, India: Naheed Patel and Poorna Swami
Editor-at-large, Indonesia: Tiffany Tsao
Editor-at-large, Iran: Poupeh Missaghi
Editor-at-large, Poland: Beatrice Smigasiewicz
Editor-at-large, Romania and Moldova: MARGENTO
Editor-at-large, Slovakia: Julia Sherwood
Editor-at-large, South Africa: Alice Inggs
Editor-at-large, Taiwan: Vivian Chih
Editor-at-large, UK: Megan Bradshaw
Masthead for Issue July 2016
Fiction: Lee Yew Leong
Nonfiction: Joshua Craze
Poetry: Aditi Machado
Drama: Caridad Svich
WoW: Luisa Zielinski
Criticism: Ellen Jones
Visual: Eva Heisler
Interviews: Henry Ace Knight
Illustrations and Cover: Andrea Popyordanova
Chief Executive Assistant: Theophilus Kwek
Executive Assistant: Sarah Ahmad, Laura Garmeson, and Nozomi Saito
Guest Artist Liaison: Berny Tan
Proofreaders: Omar El Adl, Ellen Elias-Bursac, Lori Feathers, Laura Garmeson, Alice Inggs, Will Rees, and Beatrice Smigasiewicz
Technical Manager: József Szabó
Marketing Managers: Dallin Law and David Maclean
Graphic Designer: Geneve Ong
Guest Artist Liaison: Berny Tan
Video Producer: Daniel Chi Cook
English Social Media: Sohini Basak, Hannah Berk, and Hannah Vose
Chinese Social Media: Zhang Zhuxin and Zhang Lingyu
Incoming: Ryan Celley (Assistant Director of Outreach), Sally Underwood (Graphic Design Intern), Leela Levitt (Educational Arm Assistant), Anna Aresi (Educational Arm Assistant), Nolan MacGregor (Social Media Manager), Thea Hawlin (Social Media Manager), and Saba Ahmed (Social Media Manager)
Asymptote would like to acknowledge the support and/or contributions of: Marta Bausells, Sian Cain, Carlo Cecchi, Sarah Cleave, Kelsi Dawn, Florian Duijsens, Anna Perez Galvan, Daniel Hahn, Eszter Krakkó, Kevin Li, Peter McCambridge, Kara Oakleaf, Joe Pan, Martin Rock, Maggie Sivon, May Tan, and Ben Woodward.
For their generous donations, our heartfelt thanks go too to Jessica Marsh, Nathaniel Jones, Mark Cohen, and Wayne Winters.