September 29th, 2012 § § permalink
So there is a new anthology of English-language poetry by Indians and I’m in it:
My copy came in the mail via my wonderful father, who, after congratulating me, said, “try as I might the poetry is too high for me.” Aww. I can’t wait to give him a big squeeze when I go home for the winter.
There are lots of people in the anthology that I know and am excited to see and lots of people I don’t know and am excited to discover. I don’t know that the book is available in the States, but it would be nice if it were.
I’ve been sending work out again, post-MFA (which is how I now define my life), and have been lucky to get accepted here and there. Structo Magazine recently included a poem of mine in their ninth issue. I also have a poem in the most recent issue of The New England Review, which is available in print and online. Later in the year, I’ll have three poems in The Iowa Review, and next spring, I have a poem in Blackbird. » Read the rest of this entry «
April 22nd, 2012 § § permalink
For those of you who don’t get our lovely email announcing the latest issue, here is the announcement again: Asymptote has a new issue that you can READNOWNOWNOW here. So please do!
Asymptote April 2012 is illustrated by the wonderful Hugo Muecke!
As poetry editor — please note that I have always wanted to begin a sentence like this — I’m excited to be curating, in addition to the regular translated poetry section in every issue, two special poetry features for our July and October issues, the guidelines for which are as follows:
For the first special feature in our July 2012 issue, we invite submissions of translated Romanian poetry (up to 10 pages). Deadline: 1 Jun 2012
For the first special feature in our October 2012 issue, we invite submissions of original English-language poetry that explore the foreignness of a word or phrase, or even a larger body of language. What, in fact, does foreignness mean? Is it Freud’s notion of the uncanny? Is it silence in the midst of cacophony? The cacophony in silence? How is foreignness felt in the body when one travels to a new place? We are interested in work that thinks, rethinks and unthinks along these lines (up to 10 pages). Deadline: 1 Sep 2012
If you are a Romanian poet/translator (July issue) or a poet working in English (October issue), I’d love to hear from you (submission guidelines here).
I should’ve said this a long time ago on Blotting paper: I’m always so excited with our work at Asymptote. Sure, more people know about us than did a year ago; but it still astonishes me the amount and kind of work we manage to collect every three months. Yes, three. We put out four issues every year filled with the best translated literature we can find, the best art, the best critical thinking about the work of translation.
Here’s a shoutout to the poets and poetry-translators featured in our most recent Spring issue: » Read the rest of this entry «
April 1st, 2012 § § permalink
PAUL SCHMIDT ON A WORD RIMBAUD USED OFTEN: SEASON — SAISON
All periods of time have ends to them, and these fatal endings we anticipate. A period of time–a day, an hour, a year–and this will end, we say; all this will end, the season will turn, and all will be over. We look in vain for some eternal moment, for happiness, felicity, that state of bliss that will go on for ever and ever. Is not happiness defined only when no term to its extent is imagined? So Rimbaud thought, it seems to me. His seasons are those stretches of time that open unawares and close painfully in our lives. That summer, those two years in the city, this love affair, that month in the country–these are the true, the organic epochs of our lives; the dates that mark their endings are our true anniversaries. Are not these the seasons Rimbaud wrote of: the implacable turning of season, and the denial of happiness implicit in their movement?
Aptly, spring has begun. The sun is hurting. And I have just turned in my thesis.
LIST ONE: BOOKS PURCHASED IN MARCH
First set: Works by Beverly Dahlen, my latest, and certainly an, enduring obsession
» Read the rest of this entry «
March 11th, 2012 § § permalink
RELIGION. I have taken to reading the Bible again, and by that I mean Pessoa‘s The Book of Disquiet. It is a monumental work and, in Richard Zenith‘s curation, rather a mammoth one too. So I read it on and off, though I ideally I tell myself I should read a passage every day as one does, if devout, a Bible. But maybe I am more devout in spirit than in practice, and therefore a true Catholic towards this book.
Pessoa: So why do I keep writing?
Pessoa: Because I still haven’t learned to practise completely the renunciation that I preach.
(A Factless Autobiography 231)
DIVERS. For three years I have written monthly posts about the books and movies I read and watched in that time. I’ve become more and more lax about the writing of these, being both late and unhelpfully brief about them. The point was to force myself to think carefully about what gives me pleasure and what doesn’t. Laziness is bad for thinking.
Now that I’ve become less invested in writing a blog that is read and more interested in having a place that keeps track of my interests and complaints and confusion, I’ve decided to switch to this format for my blog writing: a (hopefully) fortnightly gathering of my thoughts and readings. This first divers post of 2012 will have to summarise two months instead of just two weeks, so bear with me.
Street art in Prague: Kafka's Metamorphosis (via Flavorwire)
MUSIC. I don’t ‘follow’ music. » Read the rest of this entry «
February 18th, 2012 § § permalink
- Samuel Beckett: Molloy (1951, tr. from the French by Patrick Bowles in collaboration with the author)
- Arun Kolatkar: Jejuri (1976)
- Carl Phillips: From the Devotions (1998)
- Rosmarie Waldrop: The Reproduction of Profiles (1987)
All of these are highly recommended . . . although — fighting words — I did wonder if Jejuri was quite as good as I remember it to be.
Rosmarie Waldrop is my new goddess. I can’t wait to read her translations of Edmond Jabès.
» Read the rest of this entry «
January 28th, 2012 § § permalink
Oh I’ve tried everything. In the end it was magic that had the honour of my ruins, and still today, when I walk there, I find its vestiges. But mostly they are a place with neither plan nor bounds and of which I understand nothing, not even of what it is made, still less into what. And the thing in ruins. I don’t know what it is, what it was, nor whether it is not less a question of ruins than the indestructible chaos of timeless things, if that is the right expression. It is in any case a place devoid of mystery, deserted by magic, because devoid of mystery. And if I do not go there gladly, I go perhaps more gladly there than anywhere else, astonished and at peace, I nearly said as in a dream, but no, no. But it is not the kind of place where you go, but where you find yourself, sometimes, not knowing how, and which you cannot leave at will, and where you find yourself without any pleasure, but with more perhaps than in those places you can escape from, by making an effort, places full of mystery, full of the familiar mysteries. I listen and the voice is of a world collapsing endlessly, a frozen world, under a faint untroubled sky, enough to see by, yes, and frozen too. And I hear it murmur that all wilts and yields, as if loaded down, but here there are no loads, and the ground too, unfit for loads, and the light too, down towards an end it seems can never come. For what possible end to these wastes where true light never was, nor any upright thing, nor any true foundation, but only these leaning things, forever lapsing and crumbling away, beneath a sky without memory of morning or hope of night. These things, what things, come from where, made of what? And it says that here nothing stirs, has never stirred, will never stir, except myself, who do not stir either, when I am there, but see and am seen. Yes, a world at an end, in spite of appearances, its end brought it forth, ending it began, is it clear enough? And I too am at an end, when I am there, my eyes close, my sufferings cease and I end, I wither as the living can not. And if I went on listening to that far whisper, silent long since and which I still hear, I would learn still more, about this. But I will listen no longer, for the time being, to that far whisper, for I do not like it, I fear it. But it is not a sound like the other sounds, that you listen to, when you choose, and can sometimes silence, by going away or stopping your ears, no, but it is a sound which begins to rustle in your head, without your knowing how, or why. It’s with your head you hear it, not your ears, you can’t stop it, but it stops itself, when it chooses. It makes no difference therefore whether I listen to it or not, I shall hear it always, no thunder can deliver me, until it stops.
Samuel Beckett (1951, translated from the French by Patrick Bowles in collaboration with the author)
August 7th, 2011 § § permalink
Totally lame month for reading. I blame fabulous London, which distracted me immensely and in beautiful ways. I also blame having to fly — and no, you can’t really get much reading done when you’re flying, especially if you get one of those random upgrades and a gorgeous European man is bringing you wine and chocolate every half an hour. And I also blame being home in Bangalore and getting pampered by people who manage somehow, despite everything, to love me.
After shamefully excusing myself from this shoddy performance, these are the two books I read in June:
- Ted Hughes: The Hawk in the Rain (1957) [EDIT 23/09/11 Apparently I read this is May, not June.]
- Yu Xuanji: The Complete Poems (tr. from the Chinese by Leonard Ng)
[EDITEDITEDIT! I discovered I did read another book in June: it was John Haines's The Stone Harp. I wrote about it in my July roundup here. 25/08/11]
The Hughes was a re-read. Ted Hughes has been a favourite poet of mine for a long time and probably the first poet I read in any sort of detail. So it’s hard for me to say this, but I didn’t like the book as much this time round. I wonder if it’s first-book syndrome, because a lot of it seemed too much, too embellished and fussy. Of course, some poems are still exceptional and pretty much flawless (the title poem, ‘A Modest Proposal,’ and various others), but the book as a whole may not be the gem I used to think it was. » Read the rest of this entry «