I’m looking at those billionaires who hoard wealth their whole lives to ‘philanthropically’ give it away with their impending deaths.
This year the (American) National Book Foundation added (back) a translation category to their National Book Awards (which will be announced this week), and at The Atlantic Liesl Schillinger takes the occasion to suggest The Hottest Trend in American Literature Isn't From the U.S..
There certainly has been a resurgence of interest in literature in translation, but Schillinger doesn't note the previous waning (until ca. 2000) before the current waxing -- which included the National Book Awards previously having atranslation category, discontinued in 1984. And for all the Knausgaard-Ferrante excitement, aren't there books like this -- more or less 'serious' literature that sells well and/or gets a lot of coverage -- every decade or so ? Ten-twelve years ago the craze was all Bolaño, in the late-1990s Sebald, in the mid-80's it was The Name of the Rose.
In the 'Meet The Translator'-series at Scroll.in Urvashi Bahuguna has a Q & A, Only a fraction of worthy modern Tamil books have been translated, says N Kalyan Raman -- the translator of the JCB Prize for Literature by Perumal Murugan,Poonachi.
Right now the selection of books for translation is guided by good intentions on the part of all concerned -- publishers, editors and translators -- but it is also haphazard to the extent that there is no invisible hand behind this process to ensure that the best works in a particular language are translated on priority. Even among contemporary writers, some are pushed forward through contacts with publishers and others, equally meritorious, are ignored. [...]
There is another flaw in the current process which needs conscious correction. Selection of texts for translation is highly skewed in favour of well-known books by famous authors, in other words, modern classics published at least a few decades earlier.
BookListReader.com Michael Cart
The days you filled with pleasure.
Thank you for fond memories,
And for feelings I'll always treasure.
- Karl Fuchs
When a reader asked if I would write a memoir, I was appalled. What a terrible thing to say. I remembered “First Person Singular,” an essay Joseph Epstein published in The Hudson Review in 1992. It begins: “The best time to write one’s autobiography, surely, is on one’s deathbed.” He identifies “only a handful of splendid autobiographies,” and goes on to identify them:
“When Bishop Montgomery first went to his See in Tasmania, I asked him to try to establish an Australian branch of the N.H.R.U. His efforts were only too successful. Why, in New South Wales the then Governor, Lord Jersey, took the chair at an inaugural meeting, and the Premier and several bishops were on the platform. The movement started with such eclat that the committee felt themselves strong enough to establish an Australasian Reading Union, with their own book lists, their own magazine, etc. But they did not reckon that whereas we in England can obtain an unlimited supply of scholars to write for the magazines the conditions are not equally favourable in Australia. After a short, though meteoric existence, the Australasian Union came to an end. Had it remained as it started – a colonial branch of the N.H.R.U. – it would still be flourishing. We have strong centres in Canada and South Africa, and in other parts of the Empire, and I should greatly like, before I leave, to see a branch established for Western Australia.”
“It has been strongly borne in upon me since I came to Perth … that it is far less easy here to find men of leisure in need of a congenial occupation of this kind than at home. But this work is, perhaps, rather ladies’ work than men’s. It is the ladies who have the leisure to read, and they have their children to encourage in habits of reading. Many of our strongest committees at home are composed chiefly of ladies. If some of the ladies of Perth would organise themselves into a branch of the N.H.R.U., they would, I think, find that it not only immensely increased their interest in reading, but that it afforded them an effective means of advancing the cause of civilisation.”
Some Australian booktubers
- G-Swizzel Books(Grace): Commenced 2015, with nearly 5,000 subscribers. Marvel Books, are among her special interests.
- IsThatChami (was Read Like Wildfire): Commenced in 2014, with nearly 20,000 subscribers. She seems to do more than books, but books feature in a significant number of her vlog posts.
- Happy Indulgence (Jeann Wong): Commenced in 2014, with nearly 2,000 subscribers. A recent vlog post of hers was about a book haul. Her audience is comparatively small, but she told the ABC that she also blogs and Instagrams about books, and has a good relationship with publishers.
- Little Book Owl (Catriona Feeney): Commenced in 2011, with over 181,000 subscribers. According to the ABC, she’s our most popular one. Fantasy fiction is apparently her specialty. An example is her recent vlog post on unboxing book boxes.
- Noveltea Corner (Stef): Commenced in 2014, with nearly 2,000 subscribers.
- Piera Forde: Commenced in 2011, and now has over 32,000 subscribers. earlier this month she posted a video on setting up bookshelves in her new home. She also likes fantasy, and the ABC report quotes her as saying that “Apart from BookTube, I rarely see reviews of fantasy fiction in newsletters or in the paper.” She needs to check out the Australian Women Writers Challenge, and our Speculative Fiction Round-ups. There are many many fantasy fiction book bloggers – not newspaper reviews I know, but they are written form reviews.
- Tilly and her Books: Commenced in 2014, with over 14,000 subscribers. YA and Fantasy seem to be her main interests.