Translator metaphors, the Jane Austen summer camp, and more

January 10, 2014

This week’s links are filled with both the positive and the negative. New books, new opportunities, and new discoveries make up this week’s positives, but great losses to language and literature simultaneously leave us feeling truly saddened. Click on the links below for more information.

News, Reviews, and Interviews

Typographical Era released its picks for the best book covers of the year, which include five translated titles.

Why, you ask, would a writer want to remain anonymous? That’s precisely what Maria Bustillos hopes to answer in her New Yorker piece.

If you’ve ever wondered about the lexical distance between European languages, this language map was made with you in mind.

At the beginning of this month, an iconic bookstore in Lebanon was set aflame, causing damage to both the bookstore’s structure and the over 80,000 books and manuscripts contained inside. Now, a call for donations has been issued to help the library re-open as soon as possible.

You’ve heard them all before: translators are like artists, translators are like watchmakers, translators are like actors. . . . Translator Daniel Hahn maintains that these metaphors are useful, though numerous. (For another translator metaphor, read our very first blog, guest authored by Kristina Zdravič Reardon, on how translation is like writing with the left hand.)

A newly uncovered short story by Zelda Fitzgerald is up now at the New Yorker.

The last-known monolingual speaker of the Chickasaw language passed away last week, leaving many to wonder what has truly been lost with her death.

The longlist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction was announced this week.

For Your Calendar

The 13th annual International Conference on the Short Story in English has extended its call for papers until February.

Best-selling author Nikki Grimes will be chatting with Helen Frost and answering your questions in an upcoming Booktalk Nation interview.

Fun Finds and Inspiration

If Jane Austen were to host a summer camp, how do you think it might pan out? Maybe something a little like the one hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

It turns out there’s a reason why old books smell the way they do (and why you love that smell).

Blandorthin the Grey? Hermione Puckle? Pansy O’Hara? Thank goodness these literary characters weren’t given their almost names.

Think you can guess a book from just a few keywords? Try the Toast’s Library of Congress quiz!

Interested in reading more Arabic fiction in translation, but not sure where you should start? Arabic Literature (in English) has a great starter kit for people just like you.