My copy of Kin came in the mail a few days ago, all 911 pages of it. It made the mailbox sag a bit. I didn’t have time to think much about it at the time, but since then I have scrolled back through the blog that I kept while translating the book beginning in May of 2015 with a post called “Big New Book.”
Some of them really take me back, and one that I re-read today actually gave me a shiver as I remembered the sense of discovery I was feeling almost daily at the time. I had gone to Zagreb to meet Miljenko Jergović and then travel on to Sarajevo, where so much of the book takes place. Actually, just the other day it occurred to me that much of the book is a leave taking of sorts, both with the city of his youth and with his mother, and the two are intertwined to the very end.
The September 2017 post, which is called “Description of a Description of a Place,” is now also available as a podcast, just like this post, as it’s a technology that has been tempting me for a few months, and I finally took the plunge. The blog, in the meantime, has acquired categories, one of which is “Reflections on Kin” (where there are some 45 posts over the past five years of working on the book) while another is “On Translation,” which features all of the Kin posts but also a number of others related to other aspects of translation. At this point, there are about a dozen episodes of the podcast, all available on RadioPublic, Spotify, Pocketcasts, Google Podcasts, and Breaker.
The hosting platform, which is called Anchor, and is linked to WordPress, makes all the linkages pretty easy to manage, and the production process for the podcasts itself is intuitive and even rather fun.