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.