Counterfeits and stolen literary goods – new writing in translation

There must be something in the air. The Center for the Art of Translation’s Two Lines just came out with its annual anthology, titled “Counterfeits,” including a special section edited by Luc Sante focusing on noir literature. Then, Words Without Borders’ September 2011 issue came out with an issue devoted to an elevated form of literary theft titled “Homage.”

The selection of works presented is spectacular. Only a small portion of the Two Lines is available online, but this includes a new story by Uršul’a Kovalyk, who was interviewed on literalab not long ago and whose story in Dalkey’s Slovak anthology was also the basis of an article here. “Lace” was translated by Julia Sherwood, who translated a story by another Slovak writer with Leopold Lahola’s “Birdsong” in the noir literature section.

Sherwood’s introduction to “Lace” is also online, in which she gives some background on Kovalyk, discusses her feminism and mentions the challenge of balancing “the deceptively simple, matter of fact language and the increasingly surreal and dark narrative.”

Other highlights in the issue include a story by recently “rediscovered” Russian writer Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky – “The Letter Killers’ Club” – along with stories and poems by César Aira, Albert Cossery, Primo Levi, François Villon and much more.

Words Without Borders’ latest includes a majority of Spanish-language writers and, as advertised, a pronounced tendency to use authors and their work as a substantial element of the stories – with appearances and mentions of Hemingway, Heidegger, Proust, Arlt, Borges, Cortázar, Fresan and more.

Besides the poetry of Juan Antonio Masoliver Ródenas and Nachoem Wijnberg – both homages in the non-criminal sense – there is also a section featuring a selection of contemporary Polish poets.

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Categories: Magazines, New and notable, Writers


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