Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Book Talk

A first look at the next Bolaño book to be published by New Directions, still the best press in these United States:

Add two translations of Horacio Castallenos Moya (see previous post), Borges essays, and this book and you get a very exciting fall/winter. Maybe by then I’ll be done with Lobo Antunes and have a few more Thomas Bernhard books under the belt. Having read only two, and peeked at a few others, I already think that Bernhard was among the finest writers of the 20th Century. Yes, I’m lumping him in with Proust and Kafka and Musil and the before mentioned Borges and all those others. Seriously, Yes by Bernhard, to use a very tired but apt phrase, blew me away.

In other (personal) lit news, I have suspended my reading of Cosmos by Witold Gombrowicz until I get my hands on a better copy. Mine got soaked last week when the sky showed Chicago its angry side, and it was a notoriously 2nd rate translation anyway. Actually, it was a second translation in the sense that the original Polish had been rendered into French and then into English before it reached these eyes. A new, fresh, straight-from-Polish translation has been done and I will seek that one, hoping that some of the legendary spark of Gombrowicz is more evident than in the 25 or so pages I read last week.

That’s it, fucker.