Radio Prague International has started a series on The Czech Books You Must Read and they now have a Q & A by Ian Willoughby with Abigail Weil ("who is currently working on a book about Hašek") about the most-translated and one of the best-known Czech novels, Jaroslav Hašek's The Good Soldier Švejk.
The Penguin Classics edition is the Cecil Parrott translation -- get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- but, as they note, a new one, by Gerald Turner, is in the works, apparently scheduled for the centenary of Hašek's 1923 death.
(The Good Soldier Švejk isn't under review at the complete review -- I guess I'll wait until the new translation is out ... -- but Hašek's The Secret History of my Sojourn in Russia is.)
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Dorothea Zeemann's 1959 novel, Das Rapportbuch.
None of her work seems to have been translated, but with a new translation of one of Heimito von Doderer's books due out from New York Review Books maybe there will be some interest in it (as she was very close to him, literarily as well as personal-intimately -- and wrote extensively about that ...).
This one may not be the obvious first choice to translate -- the later work is stronger (and more sensational) -- but this is certainly the kind of period-piece American publishers seem to love .....
Suhrkamp published a batch of her books in paperback -- those are the ones I have -- but seem to have dropped her (this (warning ! dreaded pdf format !), brilliantly, seems to be what's left of her at their site ...); this one was re-issued by Edition Atelier a couple of years ago.
American author Charles Portis -- best known for True Grit -- has passed away; see, for example, Roy Reed's obituary in The New York Times.
True Grit (get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) was also filmed twice -- in 1969 with John Wayne (a role for which he won the 1970 Oscar; get it at Amazon.com) and in 2010 , starring Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld (get it at Amazon.com).
I haven't covered any of his books at the complete review but I have a couple and should get to them -- maybe Masters of Atlantis first .....
They've announced the longlist for the prix Sade -- no official site, just, ugh, a F***book page --; see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report, promisingly titled: Urinoirs, serial-killer et orgasme féminin dans la première sélection du prix Sade 2020.
Among the titles is Julien Green's Journal intime (1926-1940) (see the Robert Laffont publicity page) and Giacometti/Sade. Cruels objets du désir (see the Fage publicity page and the Fondation Giacometti exhibit page (the exhibit annoyingly having ended ... two days ago)) -- but the one I'm most interested in is Gérard Macé's Et je vous offre le néant (see the Gallimard publicity page).
The shortlist will be announced 22 June, and the winner on 26 September.
Via I'm pointed to the announcement that they handed out the 2019 Íslensku bókmenntaverðlaunin; see, for example, also the Icelandic Literature Center report.
The fiction prize went to Selta, by Sölvi Björn Sigurðsson; see also the Sögur útgáfa publicity page.
At Qantara.de Gerrit Wustmann writes about Reading outside the box, offering a bit of an overview of contemporary Iranian literature.
Quite a bit of Iranian literature is also under review at the complete review.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Yokomizo Seishi's The Inugami Curse.
Originally published in English as The Inugami Clan in 2003, it has just been re-issued by Pushkin Press (in the UK; the US edition will be out in a few months).
This novel has also been filmed twice by Ichikawa Kon.
This was long the only book by popular mystery writer Yokomizo available in translation, but Pushkin Press also recently published The Honjin Murders (which I haven't seen yet) and apparently will be bringing out more; in The Guardian Alison Flood recently wrote on How locked-room mystery king Seishi Yokomizo broke into English at last.
(I'd suggest it's a bit early to claim he's broken through, but one can hope; as to his having: "hardly been translated into English before (apart from one small-press US edition)", The Inugami Clan was published by (admittedly small) ICG Muse in 2003 and then re-issued by Stone Bridge Press in 2007; the edition I relied on is the latter.
It is good to see The Honjin Murders having already gotten more review attention than this did, back in the day; maybe he really will catch on now.)
The 250th anniversary of Friedrich Hölderlin's birth is on 20 March, and they've renovated the tower in which he spent his last years, the Hölderlinturm in Tübingen, as part of the celebrations -- and it opens to the public today.
Hölderlin is a wonderful poet -- but ... challenging to translate; still, most of his work is available in English; see, for example, the recent translation of Hyperion (see the Archipelago publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk)
or the Penguin edition of the Selected Poems and Fragments, translated by Michael Hamburger (see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk)
Hölderlin was also a fascinating figure, and Peter Weiss' play, Hölderlin, recently out in English from Seagull Books, is probably the most interesting accessible (in English) introduction.
(Pierre Bertaux's Friedrich Hölderlin impressed me greatly in the day, but it's not available in English; get your (German) copy at Amazon.de.)
The Nordic Prize. awarded by the Swedish Academy -- yes, the same folks who (most years ...) give you the Nobel Prize in Literature -- is the biggest Scandinavian author prize, and they've now announced this year's winner, and it is Rosa Liksom.
Several of her works have been translated into English, most recently The Colonel's Wife; see the Graywolf publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Recent winners of the Nordic Prize include Shyness and Dignity-author Dag Solstad (2017) and My Struggle-author Karl Ove Knausgård (2019)
Tom Stoppard's latest (and last ?) play, Leopoldstadt, has opened in London, in a production directed by Patrick Marber; see the official site.
Playbillcollects links to the reviews so that I don't have .....
With an ensemble "of 27 adult and 15 child performers" this probably won't be a widely performed play -- there are not that many theaters that can afford such a huge cast (the main reason that most contemporary plays have so few parts).
A 2019 survey by Gakken Educational Research Institute found a significant drop in the volume of reading by elementary school children compared with 1989.
Significant indeed -- "the volume of books being read has dropped by two-thirds".
The study did find a significant drop-off in TV viewing too -- "by at least 50-60%" -- and presumably the use of digital devices, especially for game-playing and video-viewing, has taken much of what was previously reading- (and TV-watching-)time.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Harsha's 7th-century play, Priyadarśikā.
This translation I relied on is from almost a century ago, published in the short-lived Columbia University Indo-Iranian Series; more recently Wendy Doniger's translation, as The Lady who Shows her Love, appeared in the Clay Sanskrit Library (see the NYU Press publicity page); I haven't seen that one.
Both the content and the worldview expressed in The 120 Days of Sodom make it as close to a repellently unreadable book as has ever been written.
This new translation also happens to be a clumsy one, full of odd and poor choices, the worst of which is a character’s exclaiming, “Golly, sweetheart.”
But the infelicities of the translation are of relatively minor concern.
The 120 Days of Sodom most clearly poses the problem of Sade’s survival.
How has this body of work continued to be read, let alone enjoyed the status of a classic ?
Sade the stylist hardly figures in the commentaries written by his admirers; indeed, it would be hard to make much of a case for writing that is verbose, repetitive, and, for all its sexual explicitness, impoverished.
Added to these faults is the sheer bloat of his book
More relevant to Abidor's argument than even Epstein is of course the scandal currently shaking the French literary world -- yes, the same one behind the Sadean revival --, that surrounding Gabriel Matzneff -- a story that even made the first page of The New York Times yesterday, Norimitsu Onishi writing on A Pedophile Writer Is on Trial. So Are the French Elites.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the quintet of The Encyclopedia Series by Gonçalo M. Tavares collected in Reading is Walking -- recently out in English, from Quantum Prose.
The biggest German book prize -- the ... German Book Prize -- is announced in the fall, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, but there's also a big spring book fair in Germany, the Leipzig Book Fair (12 to 15 March this year), and they also have a prestigious book prize -- and whereas the German Book Prize is a single-category prize (novel !) the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair honors books in three categories: fiction, non, and translation.
They've now announced the fifteen finalists for this year's prize(s) -- five in each category, selected from a total of 402 submitted titles.
The fiction finalists include books by Ingo Schulze and Lutz Seiler (whose Kruso won the 2014 German Book Prize).
Translated-book finalists include Oreo by Fran Ross, a novel by A Short Tale of Shame-author Angel Igov, Clarice Lispector's collected stories, and George Eliot's Middlemarch.
The winners will be announced at the book fair, on 12 March.
Several of his works have been translated into English, with Ever Green Is ... published in the great Northwestern University Press 'Writings From An Unbound Europe'-series (see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) and
Fleeting Snow recently out from Istros (see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).
Two members of the prix Goncourt-awarding Académie Goncourt resigned in recent months -- Bernard Pivot and Virginie Despentes -- but they've now announced the two members who will succeed them and fill out the 10-person academy: The Paradox of Love-author Pascal Bruckner and In His Arms-author Camille Laurens.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jonas Karlsson's The Circus.
This came out in the UK last year, in one volume together with Karlsson's previous two novels -- a loose sort of trilogy -- and has now come out as a stand-alone in the US, from Hogarth.