Oh, here is a volume I would love to get my hands on: a massive (over 1100 page) Georges Perec collection, of interviews and various stray texts, Entretiens, conférences, textes rares, inédits, just out from Éditions Joseph K; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.fr.
They have an excerpt at BibliObs.
The two Nobel Prize in Literature laureates honored this year -- 2018 winner Olga Tokarczuk and 2019 winner Peter Handke -- were among Nobel Prize winners who delivered their Nobel lectures yesterday (another batch does so today).
You can watch and read both online now
Olga Tokarczuk: 'The Tender Narrator' - video / text
They are very different kinds of lectures, and no doubt the Tokarczuk is the more memorable (and accessible) one.
The fuss around Handke has not died down -- though everyone was all decorum at the lecture --, in no small part because Handke really does not know how (or, apparently, want) to help (or. more specifically, explain) himself, witness the Friday press conference (see, for example, the report in The Guardian) -- but his lecture reflects his art, and his focus on (his personal) experience and art, which has an unworldly feel in this hyper-politicized day and age (and in contrast to, for example, Tokarczuk).
We seem to expect activism and position-taking at near every turn from our contemporary authors; as Handke's unfortunate and very limited (in every respect) forays out of his comfort zone and into that area suggest, maybe that's not always desirable.
The idea that fiction is a female domain is taken for granted by most people involved in books.
According to Nielsen Book Research, women outbuy men in all categories of novel except fantasy, science fiction and horror.
And even more surprised that: "surveys show they account for 80% of sales in the UK, US and Canadian fiction markets".
As someone who values fiction (and specifically the novel) above all else, I'm baffled by anyone, male or female, who doesn't recognize the value and pleasure of fiction -- but given the disparity in what I read/cover -- less than 20 per cent of the reviewed titles at the complete review are by women --, regardless of other factors (notably availability: the focus here is on fiction in translation, and until recently male author were much, much more likely to be available in translation), gender obviously does play a role in the kind of literature I engage with -- and one that I should probably examine more closely.
I do like Jonathan Coe's observation:
“Female readers in the signing queue will sometimes tell you directly how much a book has moved them, whereas male readers will say how much they share my enthusiasm for obscure bands like Hatfield and the North,” he says.
“But I think, essentially, they are saying the same thing: it’s just that men sometimes need these proxies, these intermediaries – football, music, etc – as a way of voicing their emotions.”
They've announced the shortlists for the Crossword Book Awards, one of the leading Indian literary prizes -- four jury shortlists (English fiction, English non-fiction, Children's writing, and Indian language translation), as well as six 'popular' shortlists.
All the English fiction shortlisted titles are authored by women; the translation shortlist includes the twin novels by Perumal Murugan as well as a pair of 'anti-novels' by Subimal Misra.
The winners will be announced 14 January.
The prix Marguerite Yourcenar is a relatively new French author prize awarded by Scam (the Société civile des auteurs multimedia) -- now for the fifth time -- and they've now announced that this year's prize goes to Pascal Quignard.
(The previous two winners were Jean Echenoz (2018) and Annie Ernaux (2017).)
It's Nobel ceremony time, and they're getting busy in Stockholm.
Early today (13:00 CET) the two Nobel laureates, Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke, will be participating in a sure to be well-attended press conference, so that should be fun .....
(Will there be cake ?
It's Handke's birthday -- he turns 77 today.)
Tokarczuk and Handke will be delivering their Nobel lectures tomorrow -- and you can catch them (and all the Nobel lectures) online.
Finally, the medals will be handed over 10 December at the official ceremony, with the fancy banquet to follow.
They've announced the twelve-title longlist for next year's RBC Taylor Prize, awarded to: "enhance public appreciation for the genre known as literary non-fiction" -- the last time they'll be awarding the prize.
The shortlist will be announced 8 January, and the winner 2 March.
As widely reported, Milan Kundera's Czech citizenship renewed -- as Ruth Fraňková's report at Radio Praha International has it; see also the official Czech embassy in France announcement.
Yes, the Czechoslovak (as it was still then) government stripped Kundera of his citizenship in 1979, and they've now gotten around to restoring it -- rather taking their time about it .....
Long established in France, Kundera also took to writing in French, and considers the French versions the definitive ones of his novels; several are under review at the complete review
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of All That is Evident is Suspect: Readings from the Oulipo 1963-2018, edited by Ian Monk and Daniel Levin Becker.
I finally got my hands on a (library) copy of this; next, I hope to eventually get to see a copy of The Penguin Book of Oulipo, edited by Philip Terry (see the Penguin Classics publicity page, or get your copy from Amazon.co.uk) -- I can never get enough of Oulipo titles .....
In the Harvard Data Science Review Gregory Crane writes about Beyond Translation: Language Hacking and Philology, pointing to a path: "between linguistic mastery and reliance upon translation".
It also points to a variety of interesting internet resources -- well worth a look.
The attempts to get their act together do not seem to be proceeding particularly well: the Swedish Academy has announced that two external (i.e. not Academy) members of the Nobel committee -- Gun-Britt Sundström and Kristoffer Leandoer -- have had enough and have quit.
See also, for example, the Reuters report by Johan Ahlander, Two members leave Nobel literature committee, criticizing Swedish Academy.
Leandoer is quoted as having written in Svenska Dagbladet:
The Academy and I have a different perspective on time, one year is far too long in my life and far too short in life of the Academy
Meanwhile, they haven't exactly impressed anyone with their handling of the awarding of this year's prize to Peter Handke.
Handke's Nobel Lecture is scheduled for 7 December, at 17:30 CET; you'll be able to watch it here.
That should be interesting.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Yuz Aleshkovsky's Nikolai Nikolaevich and Camouflage, two short novels, recently out from Columbia University Press in their Russian Library-series.
They've announced the shortlists for the seven 2019 Society of Authors' Translation Prizes -- six language-specific prizes (for translations from the German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Dutch, and Hebrew), as well as the TA First Translation Prize.
I'm disappointed to see how few of these books I've seen -- but a few are under review at the complete review:
- Schlegel-Tieck Prize: Damion Searls' translation of Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries and Simon Pare's translation of Christoph Ransmayr's The Flying Mountain
- Scott Moncrieff Prize: Tina Kover's translation of Négar Djavadi's Disoriental
- TA First Translation Prize: Charlotte Whittle (translator) and Bella Bosworth (editor) for Norah Lange's People in the Room
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Pierre Louÿs' The Woman and the Puppet, recently re-issued by Dedalus.
This story has been adapted for the big screen several times -- most notably as The Devil is a Woman, directed by Josef von Sternberg, starring Marlene Dietrich (and with John Dos Passos getting a screenwriting credit), and then as That Obscure Object of Desire, directed by Luis Buñuel.
In The Caravan Nishant Kauntia profiles "India's most prestigious Hindi literary magazine", Hans -- founded in 1930 by Premchand, with Gandhi on its editorial board, and then revived after a thirty year hiatus in 1986 -- in The Intruders.