31 March 2012

Ghosts, the animated short

Or trailer.

Ghosts from susie kirkwood on Vimeo.

Created by Susie Kirkwood and Jill Summers. Original score by Daniel Knox. Based on Ghosts by César Aira, trans. Chris Andrews.

(via The Millions)

30 March 2012

A peeing incident

A strange thing happened (one of the many strange things that will happen in this story and carry it and perhaps turn out to be what it’s really about): when they got to the swimming pool, Lautaro asked Carolina if he could have a pee. She, of course, said yes, and then Lautaro went to the edge of the pool, pulled down his trunks a bit and peed into the water. That night, Carolina said that she’d been embarrassed, not for Lautaro, but because of what Alexandra might have thought. The fact is Lautaro had never done anything like that before. The swimming pool wasn’t really busy, but there were a few people, and my son is not some wild boy who pees wherever he feels like it.

– from "I can't read" by Roberto Bolaño, trans. Chris Andrews, Harper's Magazine

29 March 2012

Goodreads: Most read authors

I'm a member of three social reading network sites. I joined Shelfari and LibraryThing in 2008 and Goodreads in 2009.

In terms of shelving, the Goodreads shelf is my favorite. Although shelf widgets are best handled by Shelfari, Goodreads has several reader-friendly features like determining which writers you've read the most. Here's my most read writers, sans genre authors which I've excluded.

             author                   books read

72039 Roberto Bolaño 16

3354 Haruki Murakami 14

71956 Javier Marías 10

4391 Saul Bellow 7

88379 César Aira 7

4178 Cormac McCarthy 6

4128 J. M. Coetzee 6

874602 Ursula K. Le Guin 6

463 Philip Roth 5

5622662 W. G. Sebald 4

13450 Gabriel García Márquez 4

3534 Toni Morrison 4

41938 Robert Stone 4

7745 Thomas Bernhard 4

2408 Ian McEwan 4

500 Jorge Luis Borges 4

4280 Kazuo Ishiguro 4

957894 Albert Camus 4

6878 John Updike                  4

26 March 2012

Miraculous cover, 2


P.S. For the record, I finished reading Varamo and didn't like it.

Woes of the True Policeman


5. In addition to translating Bolaño, you’ve translated a lot of other great Latin American writers like Pedro Juan Gutierrez and Mario Vargas Llosa. What are your upcoming projects?
I’m working on what seems to be the final posthumous novel by Bolaño to be discovered: The Woes of the True Policeman. After that: not sure. I’ll definitely feel a little bereft after 6+ years of almost all Bolaño all the time.

– from "Interview with Natasha Wimmer", 18 May 2011, Hey Small Press!

>> Read more.

20 March 2012

'The spaghetti solitude of the giraffe'

What is one to make of ‘a solidão de esparguete da girafa’ on page one? Should I have translated that as ‘the spaghetti solitude of the giraffe’ rather than ‘the lofty, long-drawn-out solitude of the giraffe’, which was my final version? Does ‘spaghetti solitude’ mean anything in English? But then does ‘solidão de esparguete’ mean anything in Portuguese? Am I committing the translator’s cardinal sin of domesticating and explaining? Possibly, but those are the kinds of decisions I had to make all the time. Sometimes, the images slipped satisfyingly into English, for example, ’as cobras enrolavam-se em espirais moles de cagalhão’ became ‘cobras lay coiled in soft, dungy spirals’; sometimes I simply went with what was there: ‘no tanque dos hipopótamos inchava a lenta tranquilidade dos gordos’ became ‘the hippopotamus pool exuded the languid sloth of the obese’.

As a translator, you have to be endlessly alert and adaptable and also (one hopes) as endlessly inventive as the author, and in this book [The Land at the End of the World by António Lobo Antunes], you need to capture, if you can, the hypnotic quality of the prose.

– from "Interview With Margaret Jull Costa" by Sam Gordon, The White Review

>> Read more.