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Alvaro Bisama in B O D Y

“Sometimes we bought newspapers and divided up the pages while we made small talk, hoping to kill time and trying to ignore our reflection in the gigantic mirrors behind the bar, where a dark and twisted version of ourselves looked back at us, mocking us from an alternate world where we—that couple sunk in a […]

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Literary roundup: Monumental Georgi Markov and remnants of former regimes

In The Nation there’s a thorough and fantastic article about Bulgarian writer and exiled dissident Georgi Markov titled “A Captivating Mind: How Georgi Markov became the truth-teller of Bulgaria’s communist era, and paid for it with his life.” Playwright, novelist, essayist and journalist, Markov was murdered on orders of the Bulgarian secret service in London […]

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Tadeusz Dabrowski in B O D Y

“I’m making notes from Lacan, I turn the page in my notebook and come upon the sprawled foetus of a poem…” The beginning of the first of two poems by Tadeusz Dąbrowski translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones in B O D Y. And that, after some Polish fiction by Agnieszka Taborska in last […]

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Zsolt Lang in B O D Y

“Zsolt Láng experienced a strong allergic reaction to 100% of contemporary Hungarian authors. When any of the papers asked him to write on such and such, he would invariably turn the request down. Last time, however, he agreed to review the latest book of Zsolt Láng, for reasons only known to himself.” From “Cat’s Caramel” […]

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Piotr Macierzynski in B O D Y

“when dad came out he had to push his way through a raging crowd of invalids everyone with a limp except me later he showed me some monuments but to me Warsaw was a city of people missing limbs” From “Warsaw”, one of four poems by Polish poet Piotr Macierzynski published in B O D […]

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Asymptote January 2014

Asymptote’s third anniversary issue is out and, as always, is full of great fiction, poetry, and more than I can list here. Among the highlights are Michael Hofmann’s brilliant essay on Wolfgang Koeppen, a writer who is a thousand times better than most of the names presented as the greats of the second half of […]

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International writers on (dis)unity

At 2 Paragraphs there is a cool interview series in which international writers respond to a the following Tolstoy quote and follow-up question: “I know that my unity with all people cannot be destroyed by national boundaries.” Is a similar belief essential in your work? Or are cultural and national distinctions a critical component of […]

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My Pravda interview

During my recent trip to Bratislava’s Bibliotéka book fair I was interviewed by the weekly cultural magazine of the daily Pravda. Here is a link to the interview, in Slovak translation naturally. All I can summarize from it is that they give some biographical details that I may or may not have made up (I […]

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B O D Y’s Pavel Srut week

It’s all Czech poet Pavel Šrut all week in B O D Y, beginning with Monday’s essay by translator Deborah Garfinkle “Remembering Pavel Šrut’s Worm-Eaten Light” and continuing with her translations of his poetry and a review of his work. Worm-Eaten Light is the work Šrut published in 1969 following the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia […]

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Ioso Havilio in B O D Y

Paradises might be a reimagining of Camus’ Outsider – but in female form and living in 21st-century Buenos Aires. Our narrator allows the hazards of death and chance encounters to lead her through the city, where she sleepwalks into a job in the zoo’s reptile house, and another administering morphine to one of the oddball […]

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