Friday, January 25, 2008

Blips on Beckett and on Turkish poetry

The February issue of Poetry features translations of a few of Samuel Beckett's French poems by Philip Nokolayev, editor of Fulcrum. Shockingly, Beckett's poetry has been largely disregarded by critics, who have traditionally seen it as less interesting and competent than his dramatic works. In fact, this is the first time any of it has appeared in Poetry. Nikolayev is currently translating all of Beckett's French poems for a new critical edition he is putting together. Fulcrum 6 will also feature essays on, and translations of, Beckett's poetry.

The current issue of Jacket Magazine features a selection of poems in translation from Eda: An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry, as well as essays related to the poetry in the collection by Murat Nemet-Nejat (who is also editor of the collection.)

Also, check out Mary Jane White's translation of Eugenio Montale's "Cafe at Rapallo" online at Agni. The language is surprising and, somehow, endearing: the "raconteur of cupidity and sweet delay," for instance, the "tepidarium," and the "gnomish world."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dutch Poetry Day & Second Life

For people whose "first life" isn't enough, Poetry International Web is "launching a Second Life pilot project to coincide with Poetry Day in the Netherlands and Flanders. Two short films of the poets Mark Boog and Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer reading original work in Second Life will be premiered at the Red Sky Club, Cookie Island in Second Life on 30th January. The films will also be shown in Rotterdam during the Gedichtendag opening.
If you are not already a Second life regular, in order to attend the screening you will need to sign up to, download the application and create yourself an avatar."

Those of you in the Netherlands should definitely try to get over to Rotterdam for Gedichtendag--"Poetry Day." Readings and talks will be held on January 30th from 8 to 12pm at Arminius, Museumpark 3, Rotterdam.

For the occasion of Poetry Day, a new collection of ten poems by Mark Boog, Alle dagen zijn van liefde (All days are of love) will be made available, along with an essay on reading poetry by the Flemish poet Paul Bogaert.

In even more Dutch literary news, UNESCO has named Amsterdam the World Book Capital City 2008. Hooray! Get over there and get some books!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bolaño's Nazis

Words Without Borders provides an excerpt from Roberto Bolaño's new novel Nazi Literature in the Americas, forthcoming in February from New Directions. Bolaño's concept is intriguing; the novel is a collection of biographies of fictional writers who, in some way or another, sympathized with Nazism. Max Mirebalais--the fictional writer presented at WWB--is just one of the shadowy men from the collection.

Natasha Wimmer's English translation of Bolaño's The Savage Detectives was one of the most praised translations to have come out last year, and you can bet there is plenty of anticipation for Nazi Literature in the Americas.