Thanksgiving is almost here, which means the holiday season is now officially upon us. Translationista wishes everyone a sane and, let’s hope, not too overly commercial holiday season. Fortunately there are a few translation events coming up in early December to sweeten the deal, including three that are part of Read Russia’s Russian Literature Week. Here’s what’s on tap:
Monday, Dec. 1:
An evening with Pierre Joris and Paul Auster to celebrate the publication of Joris’s new volume of Paul Celan translations, Breathturn into Timestead: The Collected Later Poetry, moderated by Ulrich Baer. New York University, Silver Center – Hemmerdinger Hall, 100 Washington Square East. Reservations recommended, more information here. 7:00 p.m.
Also Monday, Dec. 1:
“New Old Classics: Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov,” a panel discussion celebrating new translations of Alexander Pushkin’s The Captain’s Daughter from New York Review Books and Lev Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, translated by Marian Schwartz, from Yale University Press. With Marian Schwartz and editor Edwin Frank, moderated by Esther Allen, The Grolier Club, 47 East 60th St., free admission, RSVP recommended. 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 2 at noon:
“Then and Now: Classics v. Contemporary Literature,” a panel discussion with translators Marian Schwartz, Ross Ufberg (also the publisher of New Vessel Press) and Ronald Meyer, featuring new translations of works by Anton Chekhov from W. W. Norton, Andrei Gelasimov from Amazon Crossing, Sergei Lebedev and Vladimir Lorchenkov from New Vessel Press, Leo Tolstoy from Yale University Press, and Leonid Yuzefovich from Glagoslav. Columbia University, Harriman Institute, School of International and Public Affairs, RSVP here. 420 West 118th St., 12:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 3:
“Publishing and Politics”: Is there a relationship between world events and the choices that publishers make? Why do some literary works get published in translation before they appear in their native language? Publisher and translator Jeff Parker of Dzanc and translators Marian Schwartz and Antonina W. Bouis in conversation about the way the bigger picture (international affairs, state policies) can influence what gets translated, what gets published – and when. Moderated by author, translator, and critic Liesl Schillinger. Followed by a reception. Featuring new translations of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s Definitely Maybe from Melville House and Zakhar Prilepin’s Sankya from Dzanc Books. RSVP here. Book Culture, 536 West 112th St., 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 6:
The 2014 edition of the New Literature from Europe festival bears the title “Crossing Borders: Europe Through the Lens of Time.” Along with readings by a good dozen European writers (complete list here), the festival will feature a keynote address by New Directions publisher Barbara Epler, who has shepherded many a translation into print (including several of my own), at 8:00 p.m. on Dec. 5, and the prize ceremony for the Found in Translation Award, which is being given to Philip Boehm, at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 6. Boehm will also appear on a 2:00 p.m. panel on Dec. 6 entitled “Love in a Time of War.” These and the rest of the festival events will be held at the Austrian Cultural Forum, 11 E 52nd St., with the exception of the conversation with French author Julia Deck, who will appear with her translator, Linda Coverdale, at 6:00 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Albertine Books in French & English, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, 972 Fifth Ave. You’ll find the full schedule for the festival here.
Also Saturday, Dec. 6:
French Surrealism: A Revolution of the Mind, with translators Mary Ann Caws, Mark Polizzotti and Bill Zavatsky along with poet/visual artist Anne-Marie Levine speaking about André Breton, Robert Desnos, Benjamin Péret, Louis Aragon, René Char, and others. More information here. A Helix Center event at the Marianne & Nicholas Young Auditorium of The New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute, 247 East 82nd St., 2:30 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 8:
Launch event for H.G. Adler’s The Wall: Peter Filkins, the translator of Adler’s novel, will converse about the book with George Prochnik and Eric Banks. NYU Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews. More information here. 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 13 – Monday, Dec. 15:
The 9th annual México / U.S. Playwright Exchange hosted by The Lark will present four new plays by Mexican playwrights in translation – each program includes a staged reading of one play, followed by a discussion with the translator, playwright and director. All programs will be held at the Lark’s Barebones Studio, 311 west 43rd St., 5th Fl. More information (including descriptions of each play and bios of each playwright and translator) here. Note that you can usually get in even if the show is officially “sold out” (tickets are free) by showing up at the door a bit early.
Mara o de la noche sin sueño (Mara or the Night without Dreams) by Antonio Zúñiga Chaparro, translated by Tatiana Suarez-Pico, Dec. 13, 4:00 p.m.
La extinción de los dinosaurios (The Dinosaurs’ Extinction) by Luis Ayhllón, translated by Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, Dec. 13, 7:00 p.m.
Sueños 22 (22 Dreams … Far from the Sea) by by Aída Andrade Varas, translated by Virginia Grise, Dec. 14, 4:00 p.m.
Obra negra (A Work of Art in Black) by Flavio Gonzalez Mello, translated by Carmen Rivera, Dec. 14, 7:00 p.m.
Celebración: Excerpts from all four plays introduced by playwright and translator, followed by a party. This one will be held at the 52nd Street Project (789 10th Ave.), 7:30 p.m.