Crossing Seven Silences (in two parts): 2

“The silences” suggests a limitation where there isn’t any, a purity somewhat like the absence of mixture I am loathe to credit. And so there are taboo silences, like when your sister marries a black man, and these are closely allied with the silences of prejudice and bigotry, as when your uncle comes out from… Continue reading Crossing Seven Silences (in two parts): 2

Crossing Seven Silences (in two parts): 1

I am tempted by phrases such as the silence of ignorance, and the silence of hatred, but ignorance is so very rarely silent, and hatred even less so. I am also tempted—let’s get these all out at the start—by the definite article, that “the” that would suggest these silences are the silences, the only ones… Continue reading Crossing Seven Silences (in two parts): 1

Thank you so much!

Or rather, very much! I’d like to be proper about this and not trendy at all. I’m thinking acknowledgements, or rather, acknowledgments, which should have a lasting quality after all, as befitting print. Tone is all important. Who would want to SO thank the anonymous peer reviewers at journals X and Y? Much better to… Continue reading Thank you so much!

This book again

We’ve launched a new magazine, Em Dash. Here’s the pithy content description: translation is a crossing over. an exchange. a removal. an addition. a destruction. a replacement. a building. a violation. a transformation. an in-between. a movement. a book. an EM DASH. This, and the magazine as a whole, is the exemplary work of AHB’s… Continue reading This book again

Writing for your friends

I remember a translation exchange that was put together by Iowa’s International Writing Program some years ago, in which several French poets and several American poets got together and exchanged their work, the French translating the Americans into French, and the Americans translating the French into English. One of the Americans, David St. John, on… Continue reading Writing for your friends

This book

It’s a different one. Not one I’ve written but one I’ve edited, on its way out, translated by Andrea Rosenberg from the Spanish original by David Jimenez. The title is Children of the Monsoon. It’s a difficult book, not something you pick up in an airport, unless you’re of a serious bent, not traveling for… Continue reading This book

The Woman in the Window

This is the title. I struggled with it for a long time, but in the end, this seemed best. It’s got a subtitle, but I’ll write about that later. This is like Fritz Lang’s film, I realize, and my book is about that only indirectly. Oh, I suppose it’s hard for a book not to… Continue reading The Woman in the Window

That book

There’s a scene in Anna Karenina where Levin’s brother, who is always referred to by his last name, Koznyshev, finishes a book he’s been working on for a long time. He is acknowledged as something of a public intellectual figure in the two capitals, a prominent person, so the book he’s writing seems to be… Continue reading That book

books

Oh, I do, I do like books. One of my favorite scenes: the narrator of Bohumil Hrabal’s Too Loud a Solitude (in Michael Henry Heim’s English translation) contemplating the prospect of being killed by the mass of literature that hangs above his bed tumbling down upon him in his sleep. This is not my fantasy!… Continue reading books