Things slowed down a bit over the holidays, but now the translation scene in the city is starting to stir again, with several interesting events scheduled over the next two weeks.
Tuesday, Jan. 21
Asymptote Journal presents “The State of Translation,” an evening in honor of the journal’s third anniversary featuring Idra Novey, Jeffrey Yang, Daniella Gitlin, Robyn Creswell, Eliot Weinberger and the to-be-announced winner of Asymptote’s inaugural contest “Close Approximations.” Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby St., 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 31
“Translating Eastern Europe” – an afternoon of readings and discussion featuring two leading translators from Czech (Alex Zucker, National Translation Prize winner) and Romanian (Sean Cotter, Best Translated Book Award winner) reading from and discussing their translations of several authors with Alan Timberlake. Harriman Institute, Columbia University, 420 W. 118th St., 12th Floor, Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 IAB), 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 31
“Translating Kafka” – This is an event I’m involved in – it’s a joint launch party for my translation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Jay Cantor’s book of stories based on real people in Kafka’s life Forgiving the Angel. It’s also a celebration of the gorgeous series of covers Peter Mendelsund designed for Schocken’s new Kafka editions. The three of us will be talking Kafka together with Glenn Kurtz, a writer who knows quite a bit about Kafka himself. NYU Deutsches Haus, 82 Washington Mews, 6:30 p.m.
My recommendation for this day is to make an Eastern European translation orgy of it – go to the first 2 hours of the event uptown (which I expect to be glorious) and then head downtown for some Kafka and maybe a glass of wine.
And if you still haven’t had enough Kafka, mark your calendars in advance for Feb. 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Czech Center at 321 E. 73rd St., where Michelle Woods will be presenting her new book Kafka Translated: How Translators Have Shaped Our Reading of Kafka in an event moderated by Alex Zucker that will feature Woods in conversation with two translators of Kafka: Mark Harman and me.