Panel Talk II

8 10 2008

No but seriously, this time for real. The triumvirate known as Open Letter—Chad Post, E.J. Van Lanen, and Nate Furl—had me up in Rochester for a translation panel at the university. These are tireless and stellar editors; put it this way, I was a lame D’Artagnan tagging along, tugging at their capes as they dashed about the cause of international lit. It was great.

I have fallen completely in trust with Marian Schwartz and would believe her about anything Russian. Fellow panelist Michael Emmerich delivered this sound bite: “Translation, they often say, is about loss, but actually you’re handing someone a book they could never otherwise have read. It’s 100% gain.” Martha Tennent is bringing Catalunya to the world! I told a puke joke.

In Rochester the yellow leaves were dropping by the curb, and the restaurant by the river where we dinnered, chatting lit and the vote, had cleared its patio. A few stacked chairs hid under canvas, flanked by heat lamps that tottered slightly, tall mushrooms.

The trip also included a former professor, an ex-girlfriend, Rochester’s 2nd best burger, an unexpected book sale, a bonus Tolstoy seminar, and breakfasts among business travelers in a chilly lobby. Does that count as a junket?

I wish the press every success. Also, I want to pick up Vilnius Poker.

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2 responses

8 10 2008
Matt

I think Open Letter could probably be a success just on the basis of their personal connections with translators, authors, editors, publishers, etc. If you’ve got a lot of friends, “publishing what my friends would buy” can be a very sound business plan.

10 10 2008
twinkiethekid

Hey! They told me you swung through while on your way to a typography conference.

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