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The Literary Saloon Archive

1 - 10 September 2010

1 September: On- and off-line reviewing | Howard Jacobson and the US market | Writing in ... the Philippines | Editing issues | Charlotte Mandell interview | German critics' favorites
2 September: Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalists | Chinese books abroad | September issues | Villain review
3 September: (German) International Literature Award shortlist | New issue of Transcript | Chile's Premio Nacional de Literatura 2010 to ... Isabel Allende | Boyd Tonkin on C and Fame | On Houellebecq
4 September: Literary wagering | German Book Prize lowdown | Reviewing sexism at the NYT(BR) ? | Madame Bovary and Playboy
5 September: (Online) writing in ... China | Sarah Joseph appreciation | Mountain Echoes literary festival | BookFest@Malaysia | Famine and Foreigners review
6 September: Reading in ... Nigeria | Manote Phromsing profile and story | Fuad Rifka Q & A | Stoppardian death wish ? | New Quarterly Conversation
7 September: Russian books abroad | On Houellebecq | The Man who went up in Smoke review
8 September: Man Booker shortlist | Goncourt and Renaudot long(est) lists | NEA Literature Translation Fellowships | Nigerian 'writer's resort' | 100 issues of Bookslut
9 September: Translation from the Russian | Festivaletteratura | 'The world of tomorrow' variations | Burmese short stories
10 September: German Book Prize shortlist | Wall Street Journal Book Review | More demise-of-books

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10 September 2010 - Friday

German Book Prize shortlist | Wall Street Journal Book Review
More demise-of-books

       German Book Prize shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for the German Book Prize; as Deutsche Welle report, International perspectives top the German Book Prize's shortlist.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Wall Street Journal Book Review

       As widely noted, in The New York Observer John Koblin reports that Wall Street Journal To Launch A Book Review Section, as:
The book review will be a pull-out section that will be inserted in one of the newly created sections for The Weekend Journal that will launch later this month. It is unclear how many pages will be dedicated to the new book review, but one source said it will be "significant," though it's uncertain if that means it will surpass The Times' usual 20-plus pages for its weekly Sunday Book Review, or if it will be in the same ballpark.
       Robert Messenger is to head it.
       Since the Wall Street Journal already offers surprisingly solid book coverage, the WSJBR sounds pretty promising. Who knows, maybe they'll even review some fiction in translation .....

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       More demise-of-books

       At Slate Jack Shafer writes about 'Hard times for hardcovers' in The Fallen Status of Books -- finding:
By making books commodities, the modern market has stripped them of much of their romantic charm.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

9 September 2010 - Thursday

Translation from the Russian | Festivaletteratura
'The world of tomorrow' variations | Burmese short stories

       Translation from the Russian

       At Russia Profile Elena Rubinova reports that 'Translation Gurus and Cultural Exchange Activists Are Trying to Bring the Literary Translator Profession Back into Vogue', in Gained in Translation.

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       Festivaletteratura 2010 runs through 12 September in Mantua, Italy, and it's got a pretty impressive line-up of authors; at The Economist's Prospero-blog there's a brief introduction.

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       'The world of tomorrow' variations

       The September issue of NZZ Folio has an awesome collection of stories looking to the future -- but all in German: Die Welt von morgen.
       Author whose stories you can read include local favorites: Tawada Yoko, Wilhelm Genazino, Arnon Grunberg, Leon de Winter, and Lars Gustafsson.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Burmese short stories

       In The Myanmar Times Robert H. Taylor considers Burmese Short stories in review, noting:
The two volumes of Myanmar short stories: Stories from Her Heart (2009) by Khin Hnin Yu and Selected Myanmar Short Stories (2009), translated by Ma Thanegi are a mere taste of what is available. But for those of us who cannot read Myanmar with facility they are essential entrees into this vast literature.
       Not quite available from, alas .....

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

8 September 2010 - Wednesday

Man Booker shortlist | Goncourt and Renaudot long(est) lists
NEA Literature Translation Fellowships | Nigerian 'writer's resort'
100 issues of Bookslut

       Man Booker shortlist

       As widely noted, they've announced the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize -- cutting the thirteen-title longlist down to a six-title shortlist:
  • C by Tom McCarthy
  • The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
  • In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut
  • The Long Song by Andrea Levy
  • Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
  • Room by Emma Donoghue
       I'm curious about the Jacobson -- coming to the US soon -- and the Galgut -- coming to the US, not quite so soon (unless it takes the prize, in which case I suspect they'll push up the publication date)
       William Hill already have odds on the shortlist -- though, as Alison Flood points out in The Guardian, Booker prize shortlist drops early frontrunners, as longlisted favorites Christos Tsiolkas and David Mitchell didn't make the cut.

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       Goncourt and Renaudot long(est) lists

       The biggest French prizes, the Goncourt and Renaudot, go through four rounds each, and they've announced the first of their longlists.
       The première sélection pour le prix Goncourt 2010 consists of 14 titles, and includes Michel Houellebecq's by now super-controversial La carte et le territoire as well as the new Amélie Nothomb. Other authors familiar to English-speaking readers to make the cut include Chantal Thomas, Virginie Despentes, Vassilis Alexakis, and Zone-man Mathias Enard.
       For the Renaudot check out the always useful Prix-Litteraires: Le blog-site -- with Houellebecq, Despentes, and Alexakis, among others, also making the cut here.

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       NEA Literature Translation Fellowships

       Yesterday NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman Announces $300,000 for 20 Literature Translation Fellowships; see this page for full descriptions of the projects; this year they involve: "works in 13 different languages from 17 countries".
       Among the projects that sound most interesting: Robert Bononno is re-translating Eugène Sue's tremendously influential classic, The Mysteries of Paris, (which really is quite good fun) while John Galbraith Simmons is translating the Marquis de Sade's Aline and Valcour (see, for example, this introduction to the text at The Brooklyn Rail).
       Of course, one has to wonder how many of these will wind up getting published. (NEA-supported translations generally do get published, but .....)
       Also worth noting: Anna Clark's observation at her Isak:
I am down, however, about a ratio that finds only three of the twenty funded projects will be translations of literature written by female authors. That's about fifteen percent. (One of the twenty is an anthology of Korean stories and presumably won't have all male authors ... will it ?) Lest this be an egregious fluke, I looked back at the last round of NEA translation fellowships. The gender ratio of the translated fiction and poetry ? 3:13. The year before that ? 1:12.
       What's behind those terrible statistics ?

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       Nigerian 'writer's resort'

       They've just opened the Ebedi Hills International Writers Residency, and it sounds quite promising.
       Their 'Vision Statement' is:
To become the premier Writer's Resort in Africa bringing the world to Iseyin and become a fulcrum to the development of new literatures
       And their 'Mission Statement' is:
To provide writers with the time and space to work on their creative projects for the development human capacities and literature.
       Sounds good.
       In Next Akintayo Abodunrin reports on the opening, in Iseyin goes on the literary map.

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       100 issues of Bookslut

       Bookslut has put out its 100th issue, which includes the usual reviews, interviews, and columns, as well as a ("mostly incredulous") correspondence between editor Michael Schaub and founder Jessa Crispin (and I'm totally jealous learning that they had enemies to deal with (or/and had 'godfather' Dennis Loy Johnson deal with them)). (Disappointingly, however, the first few issues don't seem to be readily accessible at this time.)
       As one of the few sites that's been around nearly as long as the complete review (the review-section is a few years younger that the complete review, the weblog a few months older than the Literary Saloon), offering similar content (a blog and reviews -- though Bookslut goes in a lot more for author-interview and profiles) I'm pleased to see they've enjoyed such long-lasting success. I always liked it, too, because despite the similarities in what is nominally on offer -- a literary blog, reviews -- there's been so little overlap in what we cover: other than our veneration of Alasdair Gray, and great admiration for a few other authors (such as Dubravka Ugrešić) we seem to cover little of the same territory -- meaning Bookslut is always a place for me to find coverage of titles and authors I can't/am unlikely to get to.
       Looking forward to a hundred more !

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7 September 2010 - Tuesday

Russian books abroad | On Houellebecq
The Man who went up in Smoke review

       Russian books abroad

       'What can interest foreign readers in Russian books ?' asks The Voice of Russia, in Russian literature produces uncloned stock.
       What indeed:
As the writer Dmitry Bykov said, we should make an effort towards a dramatic entrance into the English-language book world. Dmitry Bykov believes that modern Russian literature is capable of attracting the attention of this world:

"Today's world has a marketing approach to literature. If something is a success, innumerable clones spring up. In this respect, Russia is a country where marketing strategies do not work, so Russia can be described as a provider of fresh, uncloned and unpredictable stock. Modern Russian literature is honest, it is a literature of protest, and there has always been a market for that in the West."
       Well, it's one approach to take (and one delusion to embrace ...).
       And, apparently:
The problem is not that British readers only want to know about the situation in Chechnya or the life of oligarchs. They do not know much about Russia and their source of information is mostly newspapers. The problem is there is no information about books and the promotion methods are ineffective.
       Yeah, what the books actually are, or whether they're any good, that's completely secondary .....
       Bykov's Living Souls was recently published (in truncated but still lengthy translation) by Alma Books in the UK; see their publicity page, or get your copy from (I actually have an (e-)version of this title, and do hope to get to it.)

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       On Houellebecq

       You can find the (un-cut) English version of my piece On Houellebecq here; it was published last week in Le Monde, as "Michel Houellebecq se replie complètement sur lui-même". (The 'enhanced' English version is possibly of interest for the cover-comparison .....)
       No mention of the latest Wikipedia-fun (nor the Tahar Ben Jelloun-fun I mentioned here) -- hardly necessary: Houellebecq manages to get attention no matter what.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       The Man who went up in Smoke review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the second in Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö's Martin Beck series, The Man who went up in Smoke.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

6 September 2010 - Monday

Reading in ... Nigeria | Manote Phromsing profile and story | Fuad Rifka Q & A
Stoppardian death wish ? | New Quarterly Conversation

       Reading in ... Nigeria

       The Sunday Observer reports that Minister Wants Nigerians To Read Indigenous Literature, as:
Mr. Labaran Maku, the Minister of State for Information and Communications, has urged Nigerians to develop the habit of reading indigenous literature to promote cultural values and norms
       Ah, yes, "to promote cultural values and norms" .....
       I'd be curious what the minister is reading .....

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Manote Phromsing profile and story

       In The Bangkok Post Vasana Chinvarakorn profiles and interviews Thai writer Manote Phromsing, in The literary gardener -- and they publish a translation of his story, The Flower Jail, by the ubiquitous Marcel Barang (does anyone else translate from the Thai ?).

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Fuad Rifka Q & A

       At Rainer Traube has a Q & A with Goethe-Medal winning poet and translator Fuad Rifka, A Life Dedicated to the German Language.
       He says:
Goethe remains a puzzle for me. (...) (F)or me Goethe is a cosmic figure, all-encompassing and all-embracing.
       And he also points out that: "Every translation is an interpretation" -- and comes to the conclusion that: "This means that a translation is the interpretation of an interpretation".

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       Stoppardian death wish ?

       In The Telegraph Richard Eden 'reports' rather (over-)dramatically, 'Desperate' Sir Tom Stoppard seeks death by bookcase.
       So, anyway, the extrapolation from this:
The Oscar winner appears to be having intimations of mortality. "I have a spasm of envy for the person that was killed by a falling bookcase, as long as it doesn't happen prematurely," the president of the London Library says in the October edition of Tatler magazine.
       And he's also: "struggling to write a new play".

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       New Quarterly Conversation

       The fall issue of The Quarterly Conversation is now up, with quite a bit worth a look.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

5 September 2010 - Sunday

(Online) writing in ... China | Sarah Joseph appreciation
Mountain Echoes literary festival
BookFest@Malaysia | Famine and Foreigners review

       (Online) writing in ... China

       In China Daily Liu Wei surveys the online-writing and publishing scene in China, in Between the lines -- noting that:
However, disputes over whether works published online have any literary merit at all continue. Most criticisms are centered on the view that to grab eyeballs in the shortest possible time, online books focus on content more than technique and are rough works.
       And, not surprisingly:
The biggest headache for JAS and her fellow writers is actually not the evaluation of their works, but how to protect them from illegal use.

It is common for a novel to be copied and pasted on free websites 30 minutes after it appears on the Net. Some websites hire writers to create sequels and prequels of popular books to attract readers. Many writers even find their stories "published" as shabby pirated books sold by street vendors.
       Well, actually, that speed is kind of surprising (and kind of impressive).

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Sarah Joseph appreciation

       Malayalam-writing Sarah Joseph's Othappu recently won the Crossword Award for translation, and in The Hindu's Literary Review G.S.Jayasree offers an appreciation, Crossing the threshold.
       See also the Oxford University Press publicity page for Othappu, or get your copy at or

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Mountain Echoes literary festival

       Also in The Hindu's Literary Review, Urvashi Butalia writes about the recent 'first ever literary festival Mountain Echoes' in Bhutan, in Words hold centrestage.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -


       BookFest@Malaysia 2010 runs 4 to 12 September; at The Star Martin Vengadesan offers an overview, in Buffet of books.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Famine and Foreigners review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Peter Gill's Famine and Foreigners: Ethiopia Since Live Aid.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

4 September 2010 - Saturday

Literary wagering | German Book Prize lowdown
Reviewing sexism at the NYT(BR) ? | Madame Bovary and Playboy

       Literary wagering

       In The Bookseller Katie Allen reports that in the UK Up to £500k spent on literary bets each year, as:
Increasingly, the run-up to any books prize announcement from the Man Booker to the Orange and the Royal Society Prize for Science Books is dominated not only by literary commentary and sales figures but news stories based on bookmakers offering odds on the likely winner.
       Still, £500,000 is not a whole lot of action; don't look for Las Vegas to be adding ... book-bets to their books.
       Not too sure how I feel about this either:
It is a growing genre (Robertson claims betting on the Man Booker winner was up £5,000 in 2009 compared to 2008), with more and more prize organisers approaching the bookies themselves for predictions. "People expect it," Sharpe says.
        The organizers are approaching the bookies for ... 'predictions' ?
       But it does help drum up interest in these prizes.

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       German Book Prize lowdown

       At her love german books weblog Katy Derbyshire offers her "now traditional lowdown on the German Book Prize longlist", a useful overview of the twenty titles, complete with the "Teenage Girl Factor" of each title, as well as whether or not (usually whether) there is a "Foreign/Village Setting".

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Reviewing sexism at the NYT(BR) ?

       At Slate's DoubleX they check out: 'Is the New York Times' book section really a boys' club ?' (meaning, actually , the two editorially separate sections: the daily edition, as well as the Sam Tanehaus-(foreign-fiction-avoiding)-led The New York Times Book Review), in Fact-Checking the Franzenfreude
       First off they address how this latest instalment of a longstanding complaint came about -- blame falling squarely on Jonathan Franzen's Freedom (or rather: coverage thereof):
Then fellow best-seller Jennifer Weiner revved up her Twitter account, too, and posted about the breathless critical love of Franzen, whose book was still not out yet. She invented the Twitter hashtag #franzenfreude, which she describes thusly: "Schadenfreude is taking pleasure in the pain in others. Franzenfreude is taking pain in the multiple and copious reviews being showered on Jonathan Franzen."
       So you can guess why I haven't mentioned 'Franzenfreude' to date, or employed the hashtag ... and if you can't, it's because I can barely bring myself to type the word, or hold back from saying very unkind things about Ms. Weiner: the freude part of 'Schadenfreude' that she keeps for her coinage is, of course, the wrong half: it's the taking-joy-in part. 'Franzenfreude', if it meant anything -- and, please, don't let it -- could only mean a taking pleasure in matters Franzenian. (Franzen, who speaks German well, must, I imagine, be similarly irritated by this.)
       On the other hand, the Slate piece actually offers hard numbers (even a Google doc spreadsheet !) -- always welcome. Though even the numbers they find come with a caveat:
Men are reviewed in the Times far more often than women. One crucial bit of information missing, of course, is the percentage of all published adult fiction that has been written by men vs. women. As for the double reviews, men seem to get them twice as often as women.
       Of course, as far as the sexist reviewing goes I'm not one to talk: the complete review has been irremediably and horrifyingly sexist in its coverage over the years; see the terrible statistics at the overview, How Sexist are We ?

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       Madame Bovary and Playboy

       Lydia Davis' translation of Madame Bovary is due out soon (pre-order your copy at or, and it was recently excerpted in Playboy -- leading John Lichfield to report on How Madame Bovary became a Bunny Girl (at the age of 154) in The Independent.
       Playboy is really trying hard to be literary again -- recall that they got the first serial rights to Nabokov's The Original of Laura.
       (Madame Bovary is under review at the complete review, but in another translation.)

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3 September 2010 - Friday

(German) International Literature Award shortlist | New issue of Transcript
Chile's Premio Nacional de Literatura 2010 to ... Isabel Allende
Boyd Tonkin on C and Fame | On Houellebecq

       (German) International Literature Award shortlist

       Last week the German Haus der Kulturen der Welt ('House of the Cultures of the World') announced the seven finalists for the International Literature Award, for a first German translation of a work of international prose literature.
       133 books from more than fifty countries, originally written in 25 different languages were submitted -- making it all the more shameful that all seven shortlisted titles were translated from either French or English. Most shameful: the one title under review at the complete review, Shahriar Mandanipur's Censoring an Iranian Love Story, originally written (but not yet published) in Farsi is also under consideration as a translation from the English.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       New issue of Transcript

       Transcript 35, focused on 'Macedonia', is now available online; see the editorial for an introduction to the issue.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Chile's Premio Nacional de Literatura 2010 to ... Isabel Allende

       Isabel Allende beat out the likes of Antonio Skármeta, Poli Delano, Hernan Rivera Letelier, Enrique Lafourcade, and German Marin to take the 2010 Chilean Premio Nacional de Literatura; see, for example, the Latin American Herald Tribune report, Isabel Allende Wins Chile's National Literature Prize.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Boyd Tonkin on C and Fame

       In The Independent today Boyd Tonkin finds: 'New novels by Tom McCarthy and Daniel Kehlmann explore how modern technologies have reshaped the human mind', in Ghosts in our machines: Fiction from a century of hi-tech life -- and death.
       The novels are, of course, C and Fame.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       On Houellebecq

       There's a nice bunch of literary coverage in this week's book section at Le Monde, including "Michel Houellebecq se replie complètement sur lui-même" by ... well, will you look at that ? yours truly !
       (I'll post the (uncut) English original next week.)

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

2 September 2010 - Thursday

Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalists | Chinese books abroad
September issues | Villain review

       Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalists

       They've announced the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalists, six in the fiction category, six in non.
       The only title under review at the complete review is The Education of a British-Protected Child by Chinua Achebe.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Chinese books abroad

       With the Beijing International Book Fair going on there are lots of articles about trying to promote Chinese literature abroad. Xinhuanet reports that "Best time for Chinese books to reach out": offical (sic), as:
Chinese publishers are looking at the on-going 17th Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) to take Chinese literature to a global audience.
       Okay ...
But cultural barriers, the lack of a global perspective among Chinese writers, poor translations and inefficient marketing were standing in the way of foreigners accessing Chinese books, he said.
       Xinhuanet also offer Cultural messages, as:
Aside from attracting more overseas publishers and companies as well as having more book titles on display, this year's event is specially designed to better introduce Chinese literature, writers and digital publishing to the outside world as part of the country's cultural "go out" strategy.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       September issues

       September issues of a number of online publications are now available, including Open Letters Monthly and Words without Borders, featuring 'Urdu Fiction from India'.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Villain review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Yoshida Shuichi's Villain.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

1 September 2010 - Wednesday

On- and off-line reviewing | Howard Jacobson and the US market
Writing in ... the Philippines | Editing issues
Charlotte Mandell interview | German critics' favorites

       On- and off-line reviewing

       A couple of pieces looking at the state of reviewing and criticism are out today: in The Australian Georgie Williamson says: Bugger the bloggers: old-world critics still count -- though regrettably he doesn't say all that much about the online scene -- beyond the likes of:
For every brilliant new blogger that has emerged, 100 pallid yes-men (and women) have sprung up. And while these bloggers often define themselves against in-house elitists who impose their tastes from above, they have a tendency to move in digital packs, to think as hive minds.
       Hmmmm, yeah .....
       Meanwhile, at Library Journal Barbara Hoffert finds Every Reader a Reviewer: The Online Book Conversation (via), noting:
Whether print or online, traditional or consumer, a review is now as likely to treat an obscure sf gem or specialized political treatise as the latest literary masterpiece, reflecting a broadened book market following readers' interests.
But while the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Time Book Review, and the Washington Post Book World once pushed sales, now it's as likely to be Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, and People. "That's the New Reviewing Trifecta," says EarlyWord's Nora Rawlinson, who also cites the book power of NPR. "They deal more with books that will appeal to general readers and seem to have an interest in making books happen."
       The new reviewing trifecta ?
       An interest in 'making books happen' ?
       Dear god .....

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Howard Jacobson and the US market

       In The Jewish Week Eric Herschthal wonders: Can Howard Jacobson Play In America ? -- a question that seems to pop up every time he has a new book out (with the answer inevitably a resounding: no).
       The book this time around is the Man Booker-longlisted The Finkler Question -- see the Bloomsbury publicity page or get your copy at --, and given that when Bloomsbury USA tweeted that they would be bringing out the US edition they misspelled the author's name ... well, you can guess how this is going to work out.
       In the piece Jacobson offers his own theory about his lack of success:
Americans feel that if he's the 'British Philip Roth,' then, well, we've already got one.
       There are quite a few Jacobson titles under review at the complete review -- see, for example, Peeping Tom -- but, while he is very good, I have to admit I find his work quite wearing over the long term.

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       Writing in ... the Philippines

       In the Philippine Daily Inquirer Amando Doronila considers Literature and Filipino identity, as the:
Union of Writers of the Philippines conferred the Francisco Balagtas awards on five Filipino writers in different languages forming the main body of Filipino literature, including in English. The awards underscored the failure of Filipino to foster national unity.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Editing issues

       In the discussion about traditional (established house) publishing versus forms of self-publishing -- see my most recent mention -- there's generally much talk about the editorial services provided by traditional publishers; I have long argued that they fall short even in this area (with many, many exceptions, but nevertheless ...), and now at The Bookseller they note Armitstead criticises editors, as:
Guardian literary editor Claire Armitstead has criticised the editing of titles submitted for the newspaper's £10,000 First Book Prize, which released its longlist on Friday (27th August).
Chair of judges, Armitstead praised the list but Tweeted: "I've discovered some wonderful books -- more than could fit on first book longlist -- but am frustrated by the standard of editing." James Naughtie, the chair of 2009 judging panel for the Man Booker Prize, last year slammed the "sloppy editing" of some entries.
       Given that the books submitted for these prizes are the cream of the crop, the showpieces that publishers are most proud of ... well, that's not very impressive is it ?
       Traditional publishers have a few advantages over self-publishing: marketing and distribution clout is far and away the biggest advantage they have (but one they rely on far too much), the others being their reputations (which they aren't doing much to maintain), and their editorial input, where they are clearly falling short as well. I don't know how long they have to get their act together before the whole house of cards collapses, but they really should be trying harder .....

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       Charlotte Mandell interview

       Widely linked to already, the NEA's Art Works weblog has an Art Talk with Literary Translator Charlotte Mandell, with lots of translation-talk.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

       German critics' favorites

       The SWR-Bestenliste -- the German critics' favorites selection, polling 30 critics -- for September is out. Martin Mosebach's Was davor geschah is tied for first -- does that make it a favorite for the German Book Prize ?
       Surprisingly, two titles reviewed at the complete review make the list: Jacques Chessex's A Jew must Die (at number four) and Christa Wolf's Stadt der Engel oder The Overcoat of Dr. Freud (at number five).

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -

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