Stochastic Bookmark

abstruse unfinished commentary

about correspondence


April reads

First off, congrats to László Krasznahorkai, Ottilie Mulzet & NDP for their win of the Best Translated Book Award, well-deserved even in a strong field.

Susan Howe, The Midnight [NDP]: Her hybrid technique applied to her genealogy (especially mom) but interleaving much else, including prior work (cf review), including her Dickinson research, so now I have My Emily Dickinson queued up (now of more interest with new marginal Dickinson) ... for all she makes of 'aesthetics of erasure' there's precedent in the Chinese for the fecundity of the interstices, in language and philosophically.
Luis Chitarroni, The No Variations: Diary of an Unfinished Novel (Darren Koolman) [Dalkey]: Plagiary pastiche and parody on the headspinning Argentine lit=scene hall of mirrors. The cattiness carries over, but englishing loses much of what might distinguish the styles—I'm pretty well read in this stuff and I was left scratching my head, and so also about who this translation is supposed to be for—though I s'pose the compendium of false starts leading to some uncertain resolution does say something in itself about Argentine culture.
Laurent Seksik, The Last Days (of Stefan Zweig) (Andre Naffis-Sahely) [Pushkin]: Zweiging Zweig: not parody or pastiche, nor homage exactly, but tone-perfect replication of his technique. Now, aside from Chess Story (his best and the best on chess in literature), I'm no fan (like Mr. Waggish), and this does not incline me towards reading any of the Zweig that Pushkin Press (or more recently nyrb) have made available in English, but I respect his accomplishment, as does Seksik. (Cf current bio, older bio.)
Sergei Dovlatov, Pushkin Hills (Katherine Dovlatov) [Counterpoint]: Leningrad to the End of the Line ... also a teaser for my Pushkin project (long procrastinated: V2 of Nabokov's take on Eugene Onegin, Chas Johnston's take [yes there've been others since ...], and The Little Tragedies) (add: review).
Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar, The Time Regulation Institute (Maureen Freely, Alexander Dawe) [Penguin]:OK, so, how come nary a one of the reviews mentions Dickens? (well, one in the amazone, but hey) I mean, it's not like it's not obvious (I mean like when the first part is titled "Great Expectations") ... even though hey I'm not that hot on Dickens, still, good fun, but still, I preferred A Mind at Peace, from 20yrs earlier. Cf. on the cover design (love the hour and minaret hands). Oh and by the way, there's more Turkish lit out there ...
Alberto Savinio, Signor Dido (Richard Pevear) [Counterpoint]: Newspaper bits, variable but when good very good (confused why they put his brother's artwork [Great Metaphysical Interior] on the cover rather than his own).
Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology (David Hinton) [FSG]: Not just an anthology (nor just great translation) but wrapped in the context of the development of the tradition and the aesthetic.
Rodrigo de Souza Leão, All Dogs are Blue (Zoë Perry and Stefan Tobler) [and other stories]: Asylumination from the inside.
Maggie Nelson, Bluets [wave]: As good as anticipated even not knowing what to expect. Won't spoil it for you.
Unai Elorriaga, Plants Don't Drink Coffee (Amaia Gabantxo) [archipelago]: For no, of children of all ages.
Jim Tilley, Cruising at Sixty to Seventy: poems & essay [Red Hen]: Follow-up to In Confidence (see March reads).
Gert Jonke, Homage to Czerny: Studies in Virtuoso Technique (Jean M. Snook) [dalkey]: Like Bernhard channeling Roussel. Or something. Really something. Took some getting into, but I did.
Mary Ruefle, Selected Poems [wave]: All I can say is, thanks again, Steven! (well I could say more, but


Blogger mahendra singh said...

Thanks, Dave, for alerting me to the new Savinio. I have to ration my reading now, eyes get so tired so fast that I can only read a little bit anymore … haven't finished a book since last October.

The agonies of middle age …

4/5/14 13:19  

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