Tolstoy versus God on Humor

I’ve been thinking lately that Tolstoy’s relative lack of a sense of humor might have something to do with his habitually assuming the perspective of God. This is unlike Dostoevsky, whose humanism includes at least some of the absurdity of our place on earth in it. This can be funny (“funny Dostoevsky” — kha, kha,… Continue reading Tolstoy versus God on Humor

Translation, Exile, and ALTA

The annual American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) conference, the virtual portion of which is taking place this weekend, always makes me think deeply about translation. After a roundtable today organized by Diana Thow and Jamie Richards, which left me feeling stimulated but also isolated and nostalgic for the in-person ALTA conferences of the past, I… Continue reading Translation, Exile, and ALTA

Kin praise from the music world

A friend from across the country sent me a note today to say that Marissa Lorusso and Lyndsey McKenna’s NPR music newsletter had plugged my translation of Jergović’s Kin, which made me say what!? Here’s what seems to have happened. They contacted a handful of their favorite musicians and asked them to tell them about… Continue reading Kin praise from the music world

Topping 5000 listens, and a new album!

Ba Ren Chi hit 5000 listens earlier this week, a little less than a year from when I started using Jamendo as its main distribution platform. The other one I use is LANDR, which puts the music into a lot of other places (Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, AppleMusic/iTunes, YouTube Music) but doesn’t seem to get as… Continue reading Topping 5000 listens, and a new album!

Autumn Hill Books’ new website and new titles

Our hosting platform was out of date and non-secure (didn’t have the “s” by the “http” in the URL), so we needed to remake it. The site just went live yesterday, and we’re still working out the bugs, but please have a look at the new features and the new books in the past couple… Continue reading Autumn Hill Books’ new website and new titles

Translating Gender Pronouns

This is a tough topic, mostly because languages are currently in a great deal of flux as they figure out how to deal with the preferences of individuals with regard to expressions of gender and gender identity. The issue is complicated by the myriad different ways that languages mark gender. In some, all nouns have… Continue reading Translating Gender Pronouns

How Translators Teach Translations

Michael Henry Heim used to tell a story of how he had once introduced a bit of translation into his large survey class on Soviet Civilization in the early 1990s, commenting in passing on how a well-known book had been translated differently by two different translators. I believe it might have been Solzhenitsyn’s One Day… Continue reading How Translators Teach Translations

People Reading Kin

I’ve been very happy to see several positive reviews of Kin in the past few days since its official release. Sarah McEachern’s piece in the LA Review of Books, “Entangled in Family: On Miljenko Jergović’s Kin and Semezdin Mehmedinović’s My Heart,” takes the title and the book’s biggest thematic thread as its main focus, with… Continue reading People Reading Kin

Kin’s Arrival, blogging, and podcasting

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… Continue reading Kin’s Arrival, blogging, and podcasting