More on Gombrowicz, and much else


The latest edition of CONTEXT has an excellent article on Witold Gombrowicz by Michael Pinker. Here’s a taste:

Gombrowicz conveys his scorn of contemporary Polish attitudes while his farcical masqueraders awkwardly pirouette around their sense of their own belittlement, puppets of the forms they inflict on one another.

There’s also an interview with Dumitru Tsepeneag, together with an extract from his intriguing-sounding novel Vain Art of the Fugue, which is gaining ground rapidly on my List-Of-Books-I-Must-Shortly-Acquire.

And this ambitious project, from the Letter from Macedonia, is definitely fundamentally a good idea:

Pen [that is, P.E.N.] Centers from eleven Slavic countries selected 110 novels from these countries written from 1989 to the present (ten novels from each country), in October 2006. Each country will publish one novel from each of the other ten countries and, in that way, each of the selected 110 novels will come out in one Slavic language. If all goes according to plan, the whole action should be carried out through 2007 and all of these novels will later be translated into English and offered to publishers in the United States and Great Britain.

(via Three Percent)


2 Responses to “More on Gombrowicz, and much else”

  1. 1 Pete Law

    Dear Bookish Monkey,

    I’ve organised a ‘fiction in translation’ event and one of the speakers is the translator of ‘Vain Art of the Fugue’, Patrick Camiller. Would you mind if I plugged the event here? A blurb is below.

    Pete Law

    ‘Fiction in Translation’ Event

    Lisa Appignanesi, prize-winning novelist (The Memory Man), translator (The Year is ’42,with John Berger), writer (Losing the Dead) and Deputy President of English PEN talks to two acclaimed translators about their recent work:

    Len Rix (Pushkin Press)
    Translator of Hungarian novelist Antal Szerb (Journey by Moonlight, The Pendragon Legend and Oliver VII); and Magda Szabó (The Door).

    Patrick Camiller (Dalkey Archive)
    Translator of contemporary Romanian novelist Dumitru Tsepeneag (Vain Art of the Fugue).

    Tickets £3, available in person or on 7794 1098
    Waterstone’s, 68-69 Hampstead High St, London

  2. 2 Dave

    Pete: plug away, by all means – sounds like a very interesting evening! I work for Waterstone’s, as it happens, up in Manchester (Deansgate) – I’m amazed (and delighted) that the company still countenances such ultra-literary events these days. Wish I could be there.

    Dave Lovely. (Bookish Monkey)

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