Translation On Tap in NYC Next Week

This coming week there will be several great-sounding translation events taking place in NYC. Here’s the rundown:

Tuesday, Oct. 23

Brian Zumhagen (whose voice many New Yorkers know from the weekend newscast on WNYC) will be presenting his translation debut at Deutsches Haus at NYU: The Canvas by Benjamin Stein, who will be joining him for the event. The Canvas is inspired by the story of Binjamin Wilkomirski, who published a Holocaust memoir in the 1990s that was later debunked as a fake. The book has two halves with two different narrators that the reader is invited to alternate between reading – you flip the book upside down to switch. Free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended (write to [email protected]). 6:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, two dozen blocks uptown, I will be presenting some of the translation awards at the 2012 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony at the CUNY Graduate Center. This one turns out to be invitation-only, so if you haven’t been invited, that conveniently frees you up to go to the book launch at NYU, which should be a great show.

Wednesday, Oct. 24

The most excellent Bridge Series is back with its first event of the Fall 2012 season: the launch of the Two Lines volume Passageways, the 19th edition of this biyearly anthology published by the Center for the Art of Translation in San Francisco. Passageways features the usual Two Lines spread of beautiful translations from a number of languages and hands, with a special section devoted to Brazilian writing. One of the authors featured in that section, Naja Marie Aidt, will be reading from her story “Blackcurrant” at the launch, where she will be joined by translators Erica Mena (reading her translations of the politically inflected Puerto Rican poet Rafael Acevedo) and Rachel Morgenstern-Clarren (presenting the lyrical master Flávio de Araújo, whose fishing village she visited on the Brazilian coast). It should be a very special evening. McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince St., 7:00 p.m.

That same night there will be a presentation of Best European Fiction 2013, the annual Dalkey Archive series edited by the wonderful Aleksandar Hemon, at Columbia University. As of this writing, it has not yet been announced which contributors to the anthology will be present for this event (it sounds as if Hemon himself will not be there), so watch the events page of the Dalkey website for updates. Butler Library, Room 523, 5:00pm – 8:00pm.

Thursday, Oct. 25

Today you’ll have a second chance to hear Benjamin Stein and Brian Zumhagen read from The Canvas, this time at the Columbia University Bookstore, 6:00 p.m.

After the reading, you can head down to Chinatown to attend a benefit for Triple Canopy, a forward-thinking online magazine that has historically been translation-friendly. I’ve attended several Triple Canopy events in recent years, and can testify that the team of young writers and editors putting together its projects are working at the cutting edge of collaborative media and writing; they always put on a good show. This one’s on the pricey side, but it’s a fundraiser after all and features amazing-sounding performances and a sit-down dinner, so do check out the program.

Translationista wishes you a wonderful, inspiring week in translation.

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