Monday, May 12, 2008



"Frank also copies down one sentence from a piece, "The Writing Life," by Thomas McGonigle: The dead are always with us.from DOUBLE VISION by George Garrett, The University of Alabama Press, 2004.

This can serve as a preface to what follows. Of course the important detail is the publisher...


Translation has been in the news. Much of what is translated in junk. All too often the stuff is re-cycled drivel that admits in both form and content that it has been influenced by certain American writers who in turn are already second and third rate versions of in many cases foreign sources. Or the work is published to validate some progressive cause or viewpoint and then the writing is usually of a tedious realistic nature designed to teach a lesson or make us sympathetic for some new victim.

As a rule of thumb--- to fall into a cliche--- translators should avoid the new and the young for a certain period of time... all too often these young writers merely echo the newspaper headlines of the moment and simply put, there are too many works of literature that have been over-looked and which if translated will actually broaden our understanding of what literature is and what can be done beyond the dreary realism that is still the benchmark of ninety five percent of what passes for American writing.

My list of writers whose works should be published, newly translated or republished in new translations, or brought back into print if originally written in English/American must include:::: if I could, I would alter this list every time you look at it since they are listed not in any particular order and any order that is here should be read without significance:::

Louis Ferdinand Celine

Hal Bennett

Pierre Drieu La Rochelle

Juan Carlos Onetti

Georgi Ivanov

Jose Lezama Lima

Julien Gracq

Julian Rios

Julian Green

Uwe Johnson

Glenway Wescott

Robert Brasillach

Marcel Jouhandeau

Ernst Junger

Nina Berberova

Heimito Von Doderer

Edward Dahlberg

Thomas McGonigle

Francis Stuart

Robert Pinget

James Hanley

Robert Walser

Peter Handke

Thomas Bernhard

Walter Kempowski

Gerhard Roth

George Garrett

Claude Simon

Arno Schmidt

Giuseppe Berto

David Slavitt

Tom Whalen

Botho Strauss

Pati Hill

Hannah Green

Kenneth Tindall

Gil Orlovitz

Miroslav Krelza

Alberto Savinio

Hector Bianciotti

Jacques Rigaut


If a publisher came along and said what would you publish and why should I make you an editor I would answer with this list...