Tuesday, January 29, 2008

If I could go back in time and have a drink with anyone it would be Bessie Smith.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Doris Kareva


I like this poem (pulled from Words Without Borders, aka my part-time gig, please go and boost the hits so I can get paid). Let’s all celebrate the virtues of sloth from this the Seven Deadly Sins issue.

Friday, January 18, 2008

"[P]erhaps the post-9/11 novel has, thus far, best been written by a Chilean."

Here’s a great article on Bolaño that especially makes me want to read By Night in Chile, which is sitting on my shelf anticipating my eyes as much as they anticipate its words. (It’ll probably get consumed on the plane to Vegas.):


The closing of this article is worthy of note:

"Perhaps this explains America's strange affinity for the work of Roberto Bolaño. After collectively experiencing a moment of terror, Americans are at a point where they must participate in creating the future of their country. As Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and the Iraq fiasco make clear, the stakes are quite high, and Abu Ghraib in particular points us toward the consequences of acquiescence. They force us to contemplate, What will America look like for the next generation? Even beyond terrorism, looming issues like shoring up the Social Security system and the irreversible environmental deterioration caused by global warming are commonly couched in terms of bequeathing a mess to our children. To a very large degree, Americans are preoccupied with questions of what future they are passing on to the next generation. Bolaño shows us how these questions work on a personal level, and By Night in Chile especially shows us the enduring humanistic fibers that link our 9/11 to Chile's 9/11. There is much talk about Americans writing the post-9/11 novel these days, but perhaps the post-9/11 novel has, thus far, best been written by a Chilean."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Poesia Diaria

VQR Winter 2008

The New Virginia Quarterly Review is out and it is beautiful. An article by Roberto Bolaño, a killer article about Roberto Bolaño, a great piece by Floyd Skloot about reading Faulkner out loud, poetry by Oliver de la Paz and symposium pieces by Daniel Alacrón, Werner Herzog and even Salman Rushdie. But maybe most exciting is this piece:


I didn’t even know Botero was still alive much less making paintings this important.

Great stuff, order yours today.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Jorge Luis Borges Center for Studies & Documentation

can be found here:


Here's a nice bit from the main page:

Borges used to say that he was less proud of his writings than of his readings. And it is true that, very often, his imitators prove to be quite mediocre writers, while the very borgesian distinguish themselves on the quality of their reading. Hence, the Borges Center is not exclusively devoted to the exegesis of Borges' writings, but principally to his way of reading: the way he reads the book, as a universe, the way he reads the universe, as book...

and a link to some Borges inspired art:


Thursday, January 03, 2008

A perfect gift

WWB Jan. 2008

The new issue of Words Without Borders is up, the first of 2008 and one of the best things you’ll read for free: http://www.wordswithoutborders.org/

A little snapshot from the larger Bolaño book, Nazi Literature in the Americas (due out in February) is included, reason enough to stand up and salute this online Literature in Translation journal. Reason number two: I work there. Bolaño and I at last share some (cyber) air. Reason number three: the main page graphics are very cool this issue. So tempting.

Much appreciation would be given to all who go there and boost the hits. Us lowly assistant editors have to do our part, even if it is shilling on blogs, which are shill pages anyway and nearly useless otherwise. (Then again, is it a shill if you admit your affiliation?)

My name in familiar lights

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Number 40

While the means of coming up with these stats is up for debate, the results are interesting:


I’m just glad we beat Los Angeles and that a Midwest town beat New York City. Take that, coastal snobs!