Tag: italian literature

2018 in Books

Books, Poetry, Prose, Theory and Criticism, Translation January 20, 2019

These are books I read, for the first time, with great joy and curiosity last year, not necessarily those that were published in 2018. If excellent recent books are missing from this list, it is probably  because I haven’t read them yet.

POETRY

Adonis. Concerto al-Quds. Translated from the Arabic by Khaled Mattawa. Yale University Press, 2017.

Ghayath Almadhoun. Adrenalin. Translated from the Arabic by Catherine Cobham. Action Books, 2017.

Nanni Balestrini. Blackout. Translated from the Italian by Peter Valente. Commune Editions, 2017.

Jasper Bernes. We Are Nothing and So Can You. Commune Editions, 2015.

Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge. Hello, the Roses. New Directions, 2013.

Wilson Bueno. Paraguayan Sea. Translated from the Portunhol by Erín Moure. Nightboat Books, 2017.

Marty Cain. Kids of the Black Hole. Trembling Pillow Press, 2017.

Serena Chopra. Ic: A Sociolinguistic Conspiracy Theory. Horse Less Press, 2017.

Mónica de la Torre. Public Domain. Roof Books, 2008.

Terrence Hayes. American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin. Penguin, 2018.

Johannes Heldén. Astroecology. Translated from the Swedish by Kirkwood Adams, Elizabeth Clark Wessel, and Johannes Heldén. Argos Books, 2017.

Ann Jäderlund. Which once had been meadow. Translated from the Swedish by Johannes Göransson. Black Square Editions, 2017.

Francis Ponge. Nioque of the Early-Spring. Translated from the French by Jonathan Larson. The Song Cave, 2018.

Laura (Riding) Jackson. Selected Poems: In Five Sets. 1970.

Lisa Robertson. Proverbs of a She-Dandy. 2018.

Nathaniel Rosenthalis. A Shirt for Today. Yes Poetry, 2018.

Muriel Rukeyser. The Book of the Dead. 1936.

Christopher Smart. Jubilate Agno. 1759-1763.

Eleni Vakalo. Before Lyricism. Translated from the Greek by Karen Emmerich. Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017.

Uljana Wolf. Subsisters: Selected Poems. Translated from the German by Sophie Seita. Belladonna*, 2017.

Zang Di. The Roots of Wisdom: Selected Poems. Translated from the Chinese by Eleanor Goodman. Zephyr Press, 2017.

NONFICTION

H. D. Notes on Thought and Vision and the Wise Sappho. 1919.

Jeffrey Kittay and Wlad Godzich. The Emergence of Prose: An Essay in Prosaics. University of Minnesota Press, 1987.

Cookie Mueller. Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black. Semiotext(e), 1990.

Michael W. Twitty. The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South. Amistad Press, 2017.

POST-SCRIPT

There are many excellent books I didn’t finish, through no fault of the book. I just got sidetracked or was forced to give up the book for something like re-reading a book I was teaching or writing my goddamned dissertation. A very few among these unfinished excellences:  Jos Charles’s feeld (which, thankfully, I’m now reading with my poetry workshop students),  Zadie Smith’s White Teeth,  about half a dozen volumes of translated poetry I’m reading for the BTBAs, and another half a dozen works of nonfiction that I will finish, yes, I will, in 2019.

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(Recent) Women (Poets) in Translation

Books, Poetry, Translation August 29, 2016

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Best Things 2014, Part I: Books

Books, Language, Philosophy, Poetry, Prose, Theory and Criticism, Translation January 5, 2015

Upon deep reflection I nearly came to the conclusion that 2014 was a total shit show, unworthy of comment/time travel/etc.

Then upon deeper reflection I realized that I read all of Proust’s Search in roughly eight weeks.

So yeah, 2014 is exonerated!

In addition to these extraordinary books—

In Search of Lost Time Volume I: Swann’s Way. 1913.
In Search of Lost Time Volume II: Within a Budding Grove. 1918.
In Search of Lost Time Volume III: The Guermantes Way. 1920-1.
In Search of Lost Time Volume IV: Sodom and Gomorrah. 1921-2.
In Search of Lost Time Volume V: The Captive & The Fugitive. 1923-5.
In Search of Lost Time Volume VI: Time Regained. 1927.

in the 1992  Modern Library translation by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, Terence Kilmartin, and D. J. Enright*

[*I like their work, though of course the argument can and has been made that they’ve over-smoothed the French, which Lydia Davis has not. I was reading Proust in a small group and this was the translation chosen out of consensus. I’m happy I went along because the Viking series, from my occasional referencing it, seems to be inconsistent probably on account of having different translators for each novel.

One day I’ll read in French. And do my own translation! Ambitions.]

Robertson_Adnan_Jabes

Lisa Robertson. Etel Adnan. Edmond Jabès.

 

—I began my discovery of three writers whose work, like Proust, will have a lasting impact on how I read, write, think, live:

(1) Edmond Jabès; 

[I read the first two volumes of The Book of Questions (The Book of Questions. 1963. & The Book of Yukel. 1964.), translated by a my biggest translation hero, Rosmarie Waldrop, and published by Wesleyan University Press. This was part of an amazing one-on-one tutorial and I’ll be reading the rest when I can breathe again.]

(2) Etel Adnan (who is going to be a major figure on my upcoming comprehensive exams—she is completely stunning and writes in multiple genres and languages);

[Sitt Marie-Rose. 1978. Translated from the French by Georgina Kleege. Post-Apollo Press, 1982.
Seasons. Post-Apollo Press, 2008.
The Cost for Love We Are Not Willing to Pay. Hatje Canz Verlag, 2011.
Sea and Fog. Nightboat Books, 2012.]

(3) and Lisa Robertson (whom I got to hear read and lecture at Naropa and make sign a billion books for myself and a friend).

[Occasional Work and Seven Works from the Office of Soft Architecture. 2003. Coach House Books, 2011.
Magenta Soul Whip. Coach House Books, 2009.
Nilling: Prose Essays on Noise, Pornography, the Codex, Melancholy, Lucretius, Folds, Cities and Related Aporias. BookThug, 2011.
The Weather. New Star Books, 2011.]

I should add George Oppen to this list, though technically I’ve read his books before; Read More

Recent Acquisitions

Books, Philosophy, Poetics, Poetry, Prose, Sociology, Theory and Criticism, Translation March 20, 2014

As would any serious readerly person, I treat my books like real estate.

Or is it a bad thing to treat one’s books like real estate? Either way, I like to look at my shelves the way an Austen character might look on the prospect of a mansion–you know how that is.

OK, I have to say this before I forget it: I’ve been bingeing on BBC televised versions classics for the past couple of days in order to get over the trauma of yet another academic term as a doctoral student. The best thing about these shows is how all the characters say RRUHM for “room.” Apparently it’s some sort of old-fashioned British thing, like the way they used to say GUHLANT for “gallant.” Such beauties.

Onto far more important things, I only bought two books in February, but they were both so excellent, and strangely of similar sizes and colors even.

Carmody_Sartiliot

Teresa Carmody. Claudette Sartiliot.

Teresa Carmody is a super talented PhD peer and co-founder of Les Figues Press. I don’t know how much you can tell this from my scan, but the book is narrow and long. It feels very different in my hands. I like.

The Claudette Sartiliot is an utterly random discovery. I looked up “discourse of flowers” in the library’s search engine, figuring that someone must have written a measly essay or two on the subject, and turns out there’s a whole book. It’s out of print and rather exquisite. Hardback with actual dead flowers in the mix. Read More