Dispatches from the BTBA

As one of the judges for the Best Translated Book Award this year, I’ve been sharing my thoughts on a few of the books under consideration for the prize with the readers of the fabulous website Three Percent. Here’s a sample: On Yoel Hoffmann’s Moods, translated by Peter Cole for New Directions “The specter of stories untold is especially … More Dispatches from the BTBA

All about Bellatin

I may have been a bit lax on the blog lately, but I’ve been writing quite a bit (chau, dissertation). I’m pretty excited about my most recent book review: not only was it for Music & Literature—one of my favorite mags—but I also got to talk about the latest translation of a book by Mario Bellatin, a … More All about Bellatin

Blame Derrida

I can’t seem to stop thinking about the disappointing turn Zadie Smith’s otherwise beautiful reflection on climate change for the New York Review of Books takes at the end. Early in the piece, Smith talks about how comfortably her contemporaries have settled into discussions of the “new normal”—avoiding, like the bereaved, allusions to what once was. She takes up arms against … More Blame Derrida

the angels of history

Tierra de los padres dir. Nicolás Prividera (Argentina 2011) Of all the things one could say about it, it would be hard to accuse Tierra de los padres of a lack of ambition, aesthetically or politically. The film, which was controversially excluded from the BAFICI and Mar del Plata festivals despite being lauded in Toronto, … More the angels of history

a bouquet of dark matter

Many thanks to Scott Esposito of The Quarterly Conversation, who brought Daniel Bosch’s recent essay on William Kentridge to my attention. Those of you who read Sergio Chejfec’s My Two Worlds will remember Kentridge’s appearance toward the end of the book, and how his explicitly rendered lines of sight echo the narrator’s particular way of … More a bouquet of dark matter

in other words

If there’s one thing translators and theorists of translation love to discuss, debate, and ultimately disagree about, it’s the extent to which a translated work should sound “natural” in the target language. It’s been a hot topic since at least 1813, when Friederich Schleiermacher presented his two opposing methods of translating—the first being to move … More in other words