Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Open Letter / Three Percent

Some promising news for those of us who rely on translations for providing what our own literary culture lacks.
In conjunction with its developing literary translation programs, the University of Rochester is launching Open Letter, a new publishing house dedicated to international literature. Beginning in fall 2008, Open Letter will publish twelve works of international literature a year, focusing on modern classics and contemporary works of fiction.
While we wait for that: "In addition to publishing trade books, Open Letter will oversee Three Percent, a new website featuring an international lit blog, reviews of untranslated books, sample translations, and a calendar of grants and prizes for translation."

Of those reviews of untranslated books, one isn't Josipovici's Only Joking. This book hasn't been translated into English because it was written in English in the first place! Still, it's good to have a summary and appreciation of the book.

Another review is of Vila-Matas' Montano's Malady, about which I've been interested since January. In the UK, this novel has been published as Montano only. I wonder if Harvill Secker feared readers would be put off by a book with illness suggested in the title? It hasn't discouraged a reader from my local library who has hogged the book for the last three months and has just renewed it until mid-August.

1 comment:

  1. This is very good news. More foreign fiction than one thinks is translated and I recently drew attention in my blog to an initiative in translation of contemporary Greek writing. (Can't work out how to do links using this posting space, sorry!).



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