Aliss at the Fire by Jon Fosse. Translated from the Norwegian by Damion Searls. Dalkey Archive Press, 120 pages, $12.95. Reviewed by Bill Marx. On September 10, Norwegian writer Jon Fosse became the third recipient of the International Ibsen Award, following such theatrical heavy hitters as French director Ariane Mnouchine (2008) and Peter Brook (2009). […]
By Bill Marx In my other life, as editor of World Books for The World, BBC/PRI’s national radio program dedicated to international news, I write and edit book reviews as well commentaries and interviews. I also host a monthly podcast dedicated to global literature, which is available through ITunes. The most recent pieces posted on […]
By Bill Marx In English, Polish novelist, playwright, short story writer, and brazen, metaphysical gadfly Witold Gombrowicz remains under appreciated, a modernist who was never pulled into the highbrow bandwagon. Part of that neglect is thanks to bad translations that, in some cases, bowdlerized the Polish text or were translated from a French version of […]
Poetry’s secret, it seems to me, consists of two ingredients: a love of this world and a curiosity about metaphysics. – Durs Grünbein, The Bars of Atlantis I resist the idea that books for the beach have to go down as easy as piña coladas. My eccentric and eclectic list of fiction and non-fiction in […]
By Bill Marx Much new material since the October update for those with an interest in international literature. My latest podcast features an interview with journalist and author Justine Hardy, whose latest book (published by the Free Press), “In the Valley of Mist: One Family in a Changing World,” continues her exploration of life in […]
By Bill Marx You want a racy, nineteenth-century epic about sex, sin, drugs, and prostitution set in China? Here it is. Two more pieces on international fiction for World Books, the feature I edit for PRI’s The World.
By Bill Marx Sigmund Freud sets out a weirdly Brobdingnagian survival scenario for kids. Young children rely on their parents, dependent on the intimidating bounty and emotional whims of “adult” giants who could easily dish out too much smothering love or unconscious hostility. Novelist Peter Stephan Jungk weaves a playfully tragicomic variation on this primal […]
By Bill Marx In the latest World Books podcast I talk to Robert Chandler, who along with his wife Elizabeth and Olga Meerson has translated Andrey Platonov’s novel “The Foundation Pit” for New York Review Books.
By Liao Yiwu, Wen Huang, and Bill Marx Each time a disaster hits China, we all become refugees and strangers in our own land. — Liao Yiwu Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, 50, revisits the earthquake damaged Gu Temple in the town of Jiezi in the Sichuan Province. He was interviewing May 12th survivors for his […]
Sometimes I wonder if Euripides saw the very texture of reality as ironic. Saw the gods in their interactions with human beings as essentially playing. A frightening idea. But at least it entails the assumption that Euripides himself was not playing. Anne Carson, in her introduction to her translation of Euripides’ “Orestes” in “An Oresteia.” […]