Angélica Gorodischer: any more books in translation forthcoming?

Yep. Still grousing about authors who need more books in English translation.

A few years ago, i read Angélica Gorodischer’s Kalpa Imperial, and loved it. It seemed like Small Beer Press pulled off quite a coup with its publication. The reviews were all stellar and as i’m poking around the internet this evening, it seems to have sold well, as there are an awful lot of blogs, profiles, ect. listing Kalpa Imperial as a favorite book.

That was 2003. Five years later… nothing. Small Beer Press is a small operation, and don’t seem to have any works in translation in their roster. I don’t expect any other big efforts in translation coming from them.

Zoran Živkovi? appears to have broken through to consistent English translation releases, (first on Prime, and now on Aio,) because he has built a fanbase in the sci-fi reading community. Gorodischer received a heavy hitter introduction with Ursula K. Le Guin as her translator. Kalpa Imperial even had a NYT review… but nothing since then.

What happened? Is Gorodischer not interested in an English language audience at this point in her life because she has other priorities? Are the rights of her other works tied up in weird legalities? It cannot be a case of there just not being any Spanish language translators willing to tackle the job, right?1 Here’s a bibliography from this site:

  • Short stories with soldiers (1965) short stories
  • Opus Two (1967) novel
  • The Wigs (1968) short stories
  • Under the Yubayas in Bloom (1973) short stories
  • Chaste Electronic Moon (1977) short stories
  • Trafalgar (1979) short stories
  • Imperial Kalpa (1983) novel
  • A Bad Night (1983) short stories
  • Vases of Alabaster, Bokhara Carpets (1985) novel
  • Mango Juice (1988) novel,
  • The Republics (1991) short stories
  • Fable of the Virgin and the Fireman (1993) novel
  • Prodigies (1994) novel
  • Survivorship Techniques (1994) short stories
  • The Night of the Innocent (1996) novel
  • How to Succeed in Life (1998) short stories

In an interview with Gorodischer from 2004 with the seemingly defunct Fantastic Metropolis, she seems quite enthusiastic about the possibility of more of her books being published in English, especially Prodigios (Prodigies,) which she concedes might be tough.

  1. I hate myself for being monolingual. Yep. Working on that little problem. []

Muharem Bazdulj’s Giaour and Zuleika: any news?

In fixing some news alerts and creating new ones, i stuck Muharem Bazdulj in, and turned up an interview with Bookslut that i missed last year. He said that his latest book was Giaour and Zuleika, concerning Byron in the Balkans, and it was in the process of being translated to English, but there was no publisher yet.

It’s late June of 2008. There has to have been some progress. The Second Book came out in 2005 on Northwestern University Press, on the Writings from an Unbound Europe series, but that series seems to have been wrapped up.

Dalkey Archive? New Directions? Archipelago?

Please, someone get more Bazdulj in print in English…

…just not 2003’s The Concert. According to a Polish site of which i’m relying on a spotty Google translation, It’s about a U2 concert held in Sarajevo in September 23rd, 1997. No matter how important that concert is supposed to be, i loathe U2.

In the attempt to dig up something new, i tracked down a Bazdulj essay on translation and English as well as a YouTube video that i don’t understand a word of, frustratingly.

another review of The Lost Books of the Odyssey

Another post on Zachary Mason’s Lost Books of the Odyssey bubbled in from the æther.1 This is a solid, thoughtful review, which the New York Times will probably never give the book, although someone did notice the cool bit of ephemera that they received, trying to coax them into noticing the book.

  1. Google alert really. I’ve been stumbling into a parallel universe of blogs this week. Reading almost everything from RSS causes me to miss a lot of sidebar links, as well as commenters on other blogs. []

recall Jindal? Go recall Vitter

I consider the man to be an embarrassment to the state, mostly because he’s a lightweight blowhard who doesn’t believe in rational thinking or public eduction, but starting a recall petition against him because he’s not going to veto an unpopular pay raise for Louisiana legislators? Isn’t that a little petty and silly?

Give me an argument for misconduct on his part, actual breaking of the law. You idiots voted him into office. It’s hilarious that you want to throw a temper tantrum and threaten a recall, but not only is it doomed to fail, but it’s just absurd. I’d rather just punch him in the groin for the actual voucher bill1 or if he must be impeached, impeach him for improper conduct as a representative, for pocketing $20,000 from Livingston and Gephardt in return for opposing American recognition of the Armenian genocide. In fact, i’d rather just handcuff Jindal to the corpse of Hrant Dink, and throw his morally superior theological ass in one of the mass graves in eastern Turkey.2 Jindal, you have the soul of a worm.

… impeaching him for not using his veto? For executing the powers of his office as he sees fit, as the Republican opportunist he is? Man, he’s just doing his job.

And Vitter? No one says shit to him. He gets to co-sponsor a ridiculous marriage protection bill, an actual Constitutional Amendment, with Larry fucking Craig after getting Vitter got caught screwing hookers. No recall for him.


  1. I hate school vouchers, but do not choose to articulate more than that in this post. []
  2. Alive. Not dead. I don’t want the sanctimonious turd dead. I just want him to face horror close-up. []

Oscar Wao versus Max Mirebalias

Yep. Just continuing to be a jerk about Oscar Wao.1

Max Mirebalias is one of the authors profiled in Nazi Literature in the Americas. He’s the Haitian plagiarist with a phalanx of heteronyms bizarrely trying to reconcile the Nazi Aryan with his own notion of a master race, the Masai. He haunted the back of my mind the entire time i was reading about Dominican Oscar de Leon, lover of Tolkien, Doc Savage, and Akira.

What does that mean? I have no clue. It just seemed to be two books that i’ve read recently that had characters with heads full of fantasies on the island of Hispaniola. It would be a lot more relevant if i had gotten around to reading Danticat’s The Dew Breaker or Vargas Llosa’s The Feast of the Goat2 before now.

  1. This only proves that it was indeed a good read, as it gave me something to chew on for days afterwards. []
  2. Both books have been on my TBR lists for awhile. []

Secret Invasion

After the complete fuck-up in continuity between Countdown & its tie-ins with Final Crisis, Marvel continuing issue after issue of flashbacks screaming, “Oh My God! We planned it all along!” regarding the Skrull invasion, rubbing it in DC’s face is just grating.

Congratulations. Your editors managed to pull together a plug & play compatibility of several big (and little) storylines over the past five years while Didio & friends seemed to have pleasured themselves with their thumbs up their asses, bungling some potentially great ideas in the aftermath of 52 and what One Year Later could have been.

Move the story on now. Get over it.

I don’t know why i even care. Most of the time, i go for this behind-the-scenes flashbacks. There seems to be something smug and overreaching with this unfortunately.1

  1. That i’m planning to dwell on figuring out why that is, instead of reading the Walser and Sorrentino that came in recently shall be my endless shame. This, as well as a blog post i read earlier, reminds me that i need to post something on McCarthy’s Tintin & the Secret of Literature, which i still have not finished. []

newly discovered 2,300 Mayan city in Yucatán

La Times blog points to a BBC story in Spanish about a newly discovered Mayan city being dated the oldest so far. Slapping up the rough translation, done by robots of Google:

This is an archaeological complex “monumental” which is located in the southern state of Yucatan, in the east.

According to archaeologists the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), this is a city that may be the oldest in the state and perhaps just as important as other metropolises of the first rank as Chichen Itza.

The city, located in the village of Buenavista San Diego, dating from about 2,300 years old.

And it was located during archaeological salvage work carried out by the imminent construction of a road in the area.

“During the journeys rescue localize this administrative centre ceremonial” he told the BBC Science specialist INAH, Thelma Sierra, who carried out the finding.

More ancient

The center was discovered in early 2008 and after analyzing the material found archaeologists concluded that this is perhaps the oldest Mayan metropolis of Yucatan.

“The archaeological site was occupied since the year 350 BC to 350 of our era” explains the archaeologist.

The archaeological complex has contemporary architectural elements to the cities of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, also located in the Yucatan.

“That is why we believe that this is a city with a range quite important.”

“Very few sites have-and steles in this centre we have recorded three steles-and monumental architecture as important as that found here,” says the researcher.

Archaeologists have managed to recover some 50 archaeological site, including pottery and stone materials.

“We probably worked workshops where the flint (sort of quartz) which is much in this region and also quite a few burials both children and adults, all with funerary offerings.”

“We also found burned human remains inside a hole, possibly a ceremonial funeral was held there,” said the archaeologist.

All these findings, researchers point out, indicate that it was a very important metropolis that perhaps was closely linked to other cities in Yucatan as what is now Guatemala.

According to specialists INAH, road construction will not sound monumental structures of the ancient city, but if you go on housing construction.

“That’s why we’re digging all these structures to recover as much information as possible.”

“With what we have been able to recover so far we know that this is an extremely rich archaeological center and important,” said the specialist INAH.

“Now we hope to learn more about what was happening in this period of occupation in southern Yucatan state.”