Tag Archives: The Guardian

Literary roundup: Beginning of the ‘Best of’ lists and Bulgarian translation

It is Best Books of the Year time and The Guardian’s Nicholas Lazard has put together a great best paperbacks of 2014 that includes a Literalab Best Book of a couple years back, when it was a paperback too, but, never mind. The book in question is Seven Terrors by Selvedin Avdić. It also includes […]

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B O D Y + the rooms of contemporary literature

Do you ever stay awake nights wondering how to keep your finger on the pulse of contemporary fiction? Of course you do. Well, the answer is actually very simple – read B O D Y’s Saturday European Fiction. For example, The Guardian has a laudatory review of last week’s excerpted novel The Blue Room by […]

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Ukraine 2014: undivided but not unprecedented

Two novelists, among many others – not to mention a host of non-novelists – have thrown in their two cents on the situation in Ukraine from two very different points of view. Natalka Sniadanko is a Ukrainian writer and translator (of Kafka, Czesław Miłosz, Olga Tokarczuk and Zbigniew Herbert among others). Writing in the New […]

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Kafka in comics

K never made it to the Castle but he can take some solace in the fact that his struggle will now grace the shelves alongside the battles between caped heroes and masked villains with the publication of the comic The Castle. By way of the Czech Literature Portal I came upon the recent release of […]

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Literary roundup: Crime, crows and polishness

At The Guardian author of Madame Mephisto, A. M. Bakalar writes about the UK’s invisible Polish minority, describing the wide divergence in identities between those who think of themselves as British and those who continue to exist in an almost exclusively Polish environment. The all-too-common assumption of Poles coming to the UK for higher wages […]

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Literary roundup: Miklós Szentkuthy, Casanova and long Hungarian sentences

Hungarian Literature Online has published the introduction to Miklós Szentkuthy’s Marginalia on Casanova, which is being published in an English translation by Tim Wilkinson by the Contra Mundum Press in September. Szentkuthy’s obscurity in the English-speaking and reading world makes even some of Central Europe’s most obscure writers seems like the stars of their own […]

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Literary roundup: Egon Bondy and still controversial modernism

“The concept of being and non-being is a philosophical con” – Egon Bondy At the Czech Literature Portal I wrote about the fact that you can see a documentary about Czech writer Egon Bondy online for free and with English subtitles. Titled The Last Lesson of Egon Bondy the 32-minute film is full of the […]

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Literary roundup: Zweig, Kiš, Mandelstam and Nabokov’s right hook

The Guardian reports that plans to memorialize the house exiled Austrian-Jewish writer Stefan Zweig lived in London for five years were nixed by English Heritage (EH), the organization responsible for choosing who gets a blue plaque and who doesn’t. An EH spokesperson said that Zweig’s “current profile – which has never been as high in […]

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Literary confinement: Part II – canon fodder and writing in the default mode

In a recent article on revivals of plays by Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty uses the occasion to identify some shortcomings in contemporary theater that apply equally, if not even more closely, to contemporary fiction. He distinguishes the work of these two modern greats not only in degree […]

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Literary confinement: Part I – on restricted reading and the production of factory fiction

When I was 17 years old and deciding where to go to college I went on a visit to the University of Miami because I was considering studying at their music school. The sight of white cork-lined practice rooms that looked like jail cells made me a bit uneasy from the outset, but it was […]

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