Explore in translation
Obsessed with a single line from Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness – Kurtz’s injunction to ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’ – Sven Lindqvist set out across Central Africa, and wrote a book that revealed precisely what Europe’s imperial powers had exacted on Africa’s people over the course of the preceding two centuries.
An extract from Vintage 1954 by Antoine Laurain, translated from the French by Emily Boyce and Jane Aitken.
At the Edge of Night
An excerpt from Friedo Lampe’s At the Edge of Night, translated from the German by Simon Beattie.
Objects in Mirror
‘He runs through the events of the day in his mind. Fairly frightening, really: the sudden request for his file, the question about the government. And the silence.’
Ryszard Kapuściński, once the only foreign correspondent for the Polish Press Agency, on the concept of borders.
Portion of Jam
‘My father no longer goes to the hospital to work, because you don’t find nurses in wheelchairs working in hospitals.’
Fyodor Denisovich Konstantinov
‘A piece of boxwood, gripped in a vise, / waits on the workbench for his knife.’ Poetry by Lev Ozerov, translated from the Russian by Boris Dralyuk, and introduced by Robert Chandler.
Brother in Ice
‘My brother is a man trapped in ice. He looks at us through it; he is there and he is not there.’
‘We hope that the copilot knows the terrain well. That his mask of youth conceals the face of a seasoned veteran of war. That he knows the minefields because he helped plant them.’
A Time for Everything
‘It can almost seem as if God was genuinely concerned about mankind.’ Translated by James Anderson.
Karl Ove Knausgaard | The Proust Questionnaire
'What is your most unappealing habit? Maybe all the brain-like chewing gums I leave behind everywhere I work.'
‘All those appetizing vessels exposed and available, O how delightfully vulnerable they are, it brings a tear to the eye.’
Equal Recognition | Discoveries
In an article for the LA Review of Books, Deborah Smith discusses the politics of literary translation and the backlash she received after winning the Man Booker International Prize.
From the Left Bank of the Flu
‘The big road looked to me like a river, the cars rushing by as if carried along on its current.’
‘One piece of luck: I didn’t explain to the pianist how to play the piano.’ Translated from the French by Sophie Lewis.
‘When I picture my childhood, it’s like I’m swimming underwater.’ Merethe Lindstrøm’s story is translated from the Norwegian by Marta Eidsvåg, and is the winner of Harvill Secker’s Young Translators’ Prize 2016.
‘This was the morning I discovered the anatomy of a hair.’ New fiction by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from the Spanish by Rahul Bery.
A Clean Marriage
‘Frequency of sex since marriage: zero.’ Sayaka Murata on a sexless marriage and the ‘Clean Breeder’ technique for pleasureless reproduction.
‘To go is always to go somewhere; returning, you return to nowhere. That’s the way it is.’
A Walk to Kobe
‘What I’m talking about is a different sea, and different mountains.’ Haruki Murakami walks to his hometown after the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995.
‘I only stopped playing with him when he began biting the fingers of anyone who tried to pet him.’