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Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

COLLECTED ESSAYS ON LITERATURE AND CRITICISM:

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EXPERIMENTAL FICTION NOW


  • A survey of current writers whose work might be called "experimental." Includes a prefatory discussion defining terms, as well as essays on David Foster Wallace, George Saunders, Gary Lutz, Ben Marcus, Mark Danielewski, John Keene, Shelley Jackson, Steve Tomasula, more than a dozen others.
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INNOVATIVE WOMEN WRITERS


  • "I offer here no overarching theory about the nature or direction of innovative writing by women writers, although as I do note in several of the essays in the first section, there is a recognizable affinity among numerous current writers for what I am here calling 'fabulation.'" Includes essays on Rikki Ducornet, Aimee Bender, Noy Holland, Helen DeWitt, Eimear McBride, more than a dozen others.
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APF (2)

AMERICAN POSTMODERN FICTION


  • "Although the term has come to identify a general attitude toward traditional intellectual assumptions or, more specifically, discernibly related practices in philosophy, the social sciences, and all of the arts, "postmodern" was originally a critical label attached to an emergent group of American fiction writers perceived to be challenging established literary convention."
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Realisms

REALISMS

BSS

BETWEEN SILLINESS AND SATIRE:BLACK HUMOR FICTION


  • In the early to mid 1960s, an iconoclastic mode of American fiction that came to be called "black humor" presaged the larger movement succeeding it that eventually came to be known as postmodernism. This volume looks at the essential features of black humor fiction, with essays on all the major black humorists: Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, Bruce Jay Friedman, Terry Southern, and more.
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MANY WINDOWS: ON EXPERIMENTAL FICTION


  • Is a work of experimental fiction really an experiment? What was metafiction? Experimental fiction and tradition. New Romancers. Poetic structures. Fiction as performance. Varieties of experimental fiction.
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A WIDER ANGLE: AMERICAN FICTION AT THE PERIPHERY


  • Beyond the major publishers’ seasonal lists to out-of-the-way presses and lesser-known writers.
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« In Between | Main | From the TRE Archives: On "Craft" in Fiction »

01/25/2018

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Twitchelmore

I'm not here to disagree about care toward translations of prose, but I think we do worry too much about the precise wording, as if there is a Platonic realm of 'the thing itself', thereby creating an aura around 'the language its author actually used', which then leads to angel-on-a-pinhead fuss over the original word and its potential meanings.

Thomas Bernhard dismissed translations of his works as completely different entities, yet his prose is distinctive for its use of blocks of prose and repetitions of words, which lends itself to translation so long as the translator can capture the music of the rhythms and the local and overall structure. The individual words are not so vital.

Worrying about the translation would then be more like worrying over interpretations of a piece of music – say, to use one of Bernhard's favourites, Glenn Gould's 1950s version of the Goldberg Variations and his 1982 version. They both have the same tune, as it were. Perhaps there are larger questions to be asked about what music and literature are as things in themselves – with translation as a worthy entity in itself – rather than treating the original text as a fetish concealing its magic if only we could find the key.

Daniel Green

Speaking for myself as a critic, I'd rather have the individual words as well as the structure and the music of the rhythms. Obviously if I'm reading a translation, I can't have it. I'm not at all comfortable with the idea of a translation as a "different entity" (again as a critic). I want to be able to trust the translator's interpretation, although in the end I'll have to settle for form and music. But doing without the precise wording is missing out on something that's not trivial.

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