Stochastic Bookmark

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18.12.21

another year in reading

Again, a bit shy of 100 titles. Over 2/3 in translation (which the TLS best books gave short shrift: first year I hadn't read any of their selections), whether prose or poetry. [NB: All links below lead to M.A. Orthofer's Complete Review.]

Substantial works included S.Y. Agnon's Only Yesterday (Barbara Harshav) [Princeton] and Peter Weiss' The Aesthetics of Resistance Vol II (Joel Scott) [Duke] (for which I had to reread Vol I, hoping Vol III forthcoming sooner). University presses also supplied new englishings of foundational works: Mateiu Caragiale's Rakes of the Old Court (Sean Cotter) [Northwestern] and Alexander Griboedov's Woe from Wit (Betsy Hulick) [Columbia].

My favorite press, Archipelago Books, had a strong list this year, from which I read short story compendiums from Kjell Askildsen and Saadat Hasan Manto, poetry from Giuseppe Ungaretti and Nabaneeta Dev Sen, and novels: Jean Giono's Ennemonde (Bill Johnston), Hanne Ørstavik's The Pastor (Martin Aitken) and Andrea Bajani's If You Kept a Record of Sins (Elizabeth Harris), that last the best I've read so far but I still have Willem Frederik Hermans' A Guardian Angel Recalls on the shelf ...

New York Review Books also kept me busy, between Walter Kempowski, Victor Serge, Adalbert Stifter, Natalia Ginzburg, and Aleksandar Tišma (just to mention the high points). The best from other presses were:
David Albahari, Götz and Meyer (Ellen Elias-Bursać) [Dalkey]
Miroslav Krleža, On the Edge of Reason (Zora Depolo) [NDP]
Luis Sagasti, Fireflies (Fionn Petch) [Charco]
Federico Falco, A Perfect Cemetery (Jennifer Croft) [Charco]
Thomas Bernhard, The Cheap-Eaters (Douglas Robertson) [Spurl]
Eric Chevillard, The Crab Nebula (Jordan Stump & Eleanor Hardin) [Nebraska]
Linda Boström Knausgård, Welcome to America (Martin Aitken) [World Editions]
Vladimir Sharov, Be as Children (Oliver Ready) [Dedalus]
I could go on and on with honorable mentions, but too many to mention.

As for books written in English, I read little of this year's offerings: Cynthia Ozick's Antiquities was the stand-out, but Joshua Cohen's The Netanyahus merits mention. Otherwise, I completed William Gaddis and Ann Quin, filled in James Baldwin and Toni Morrison, and in poetry, Nobel laureate Louise Glück's Poems 1962-2012.

All in all, a good year in reading, if not in posting.

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