Britain's first book blogger (November 2000)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday links

Sign & Sight takes a welcome break from Islam-bashing to report the shortlist for the 2007 German Book Prize. English translations of the first pages of each shortlisted title will appear on Sign & Sight next week, which is nice. In the meantime, we're told that Thomas Glavinic's Das bin doch ich features a writer who "has a nice friend who's written a novel, 'Measuring the World' with sales figures that make [the] author's mother shriek: 'When are you going to write something like that?'" Now I wonder who that could be?

On Monday I mentioned that the centenary of Blanchot's birth lacked an English dimension. It still does. But here's Jean-Luc Nancy with his contribution to the French commemoration, which includes the lines:
[L'écriture/la littérature] ne transcrit pas un témoignage, elle n'invente pas une fiction, elle ne délivre pas un message: elle trace le parcours infini du sens en tant qu'il s'absente.
Google Translate has this as: "[Writing/Literature] does not transcribe a testimony, it does not invent a fiction, it does not deliver a message: it traces the infinite course of the direction as it goes away." Ooh yesh. But can anyone come with a better final line?

The Fall edition of The Quarterly Conversation is out. Good to see Goldberg: Variations and Remainder receiving more serious attention.

And finally, in more translation news, Robert Alter discusses his new translation of the Book of Psalms, and Pierre Joris reports a new translation of The Collected Poems of Alberto Caeiro by Fernando Pessoa.


  1. " traces the infinite journey of meaning as it goes away."

  2. or: "the infinite path of sense as it absents itself."

  3. Steve (corrected from previous post),
    Thanks for the introduction to this periodical which was hitherto unknown to me. I enjoyed the Roth review/essay having been lucky enough to have read an advance proof of the UK edition. I particularly enjoyed the irony of the reviewer's surname - reviewing a book where Zuckerman's loss of virility is never far away. I'm sure the great man himself would too.


  4. I hadn't seen that until now. I agree with him about The Counterlife.



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