Center for Writers and Translators

Center for Writers and Translators At the American University of Paris. Projects include The Cahiers Series, Beckett Letters, Music & Literature, et al. To join our mailing list, please send a message to [email protected] with the subject heading 'subscribe to mailing list.'
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Center for Writers and Translators
21/05/2018

Center for Writers and Translators

Center for Writers and Translators's cover photo
21/05/2018

Center for Writers and Translators's cover photo

Music & Literature
08/09/2017
Music & Literature

Music & Literature

I wrote “The Physics of Sorrow” in different places and when I finally typed it up and printed all the pages together, I had forgotten to number them. I dropped that folder, the order was completely lost and that was part of why the novel’s structure became a labyrinth, the physical disorder of those pages. It’s not that I couldn’t trace the order back from the file but I preferred to find my way back from the sheets of paper themselves. It is also mentioned somewhere in the novel that the securest, the oldest technology is paper.

— This fascinating, wide-ranging conversation with one of Bulgaria’s most brilliant and provocative writers touches on everything from the impossibility of translation to the ubiquity of the sublime. Georgi Gospodinov talks opera, flies, grandmothers, and his latest fictions:

Center for Writers and Translators's cover photo
22/03/2017

Center for Writers and Translators's cover photo

Delighted to find Cahier 26 by Franco Nasi listed among the Peirene Press favorites of 2016!
29/11/2016

Delighted to find Cahier 26 by Franco Nasi listed among the Peirene Press favorites of 2016!

Continuing our countdown our favourite non-fiction & poetry of 2016: No.4, chosen by publishing assistant James, is the short & sweet

TRANSLATORS BLUES BY FRANCO NASI (SYLPH EDITIONS)

Part essay, part short-story, Translator's Blues is the 26th edition in the gorgeous The Cahiers Series published by Sylph Editions and the American University of Paris. The narrator of the book meditates on the relationship between words & things, on language, on cultural customs and stereotypes, on ego, on melancholy and loss... Nasi fits a lot into a very little book. But the essay never feels heavy - indeed, it's hilarious at times, and wears it's philosophising lightly. This is a one sitting read of great pleasure.

http://www.sylpheditions.com/Cahiers/26.html

The Cahiers Series makes its first appearance in Harper's Magazine!
22/11/2016
[Readings] | The Curse, by Javier MarÌas | Harper's Magazine

The Cahiers Series makes its first appearance in Harper's Magazine!

By Javier Marías, from To Begin at the Beginning, a reflection on the art of writing fiction. The book was published in October by Sylph Editions as part of their Cahiers Series. Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa. Thus Bad Begins, Marías’s thirteenth novel, appeared last month and i...

22/11/2016
Samuel Beckett: A Symposium Celebrating the Publication of the Fourth Volume of the Letters | English Faculty News

For those in the area, an opportunity to hear Dan Gunn and George Craig present on the Letters at the University of Cambridge this Friday. Details below.

Samuel Beckett: A Symposium Celebrating the Publication of the Fourth Volume of the Letters Posted on 31 October 2016 by english Image credit: Cambridge University PressSamuel Beckett A symposium celebrating the publication of the fourth volume of the Letters King’s College, Cambridge Friday Novembe...

Some souvenirs from last month's events
13/11/2016

Some souvenirs from last month's events

Some souvenirs from last month's events

08/11/2016
Upcoming Events – Issue Launch: Music & Literature Presents Paul Griffiths – Burley Fisher Books

Paul Griffiths (Cahier 22) is guest of honor at this celebration of Music & Literature no.7, 25 November at Burley Fisher Books in London. Company includes Jon Day, Luke Williams and violinist Beatrice Philips, who will perform work discussed by Griffiths in the issue.

« All Events Issue Launch: Music & Literature Presents Paul Griffiths 25 November @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm | £3 Event Navigation « In Conversation: Max Porter and Adam Mars-Jones HOW TO: Write your first novel using YouTube » Paul Griffiths has been one of the most astute and illuminating critics of cont...

08/11/2016
Beckett Plays Beckett

These letters, in the end, map a long tramp, not so much from life to death as from shade to shade. Beckett begins as an unformed consciousness, struggling to articulate itself, and he ends as a consciousness freed from its body and thus, ever alive.

–Fintan O'Toole impressed by volume 4 in The New York Review of Books

What did the elderly Samuel Beckett think about in the dark of night when he could not sleep? The hollowness of human existence? The inevitable failure of all expression? In fact, he played in his mind the first five holes of Carrickmines golf course overlooking Dublin Bay and facing the rugged hill...

Cahier 27 by Kirsty Gunn excerpted by the The New York Review of Books Daily:At the end of the street where I lived in W...
28/10/2016
Deep in New Zealand

Cahier 27 by Kirsty Gunn excerpted by the The New York Review of Books Daily:

At the end of the street where I lived in Wellington, at the southern end of the North Island of New Zealand, a street of gracious two-story houses set in large gardens that were planted with oak and ash and maple, with English herbaceous borders and flowering fruit trees and shrubberies, was a park.

“A park?” you say.

In the New Zealand of my childhood people used an expression within which was the nightmare of a place so overridden with manuka and scrub you might never escape it. This phrase, it seemed, existed permanently in a kind of future tense—that you might walk into and inhabit and be lost in: "Going Bush...

If Beckett was ill-served by parts of Bair’s biography, the editorship of his letters provides a model of scholarship an...
25/10/2016
The Letters of Samuel Beckett 1966-1989 review – a ‘long farewelling’

If Beckett was ill-served by parts of Bair’s biography, the editorship of his letters provides a model of scholarship and a masterclass in selection. No page in this volume is without a point of interest. Dan Gunn’s introduction (which, alongside those to the first three volumes, would make an excellent freestanding short book) explains why the editors felt able to include letters that don’t strictly obey Beckett’s injunction on the personal. “As Beckett ages,” Gunn explains, “and becomes less willing to manage the practical aspects of the staging of his plays, and as his writing itself seems to be drawn from some ever less public, ever more intimate, part of himself, the line between work and life, never clear, becomes less and less discernible.”

–Chris Power on Vol.4 for The Guardian

The fourth and final volume of these impeccably edited letters covers the years in which Beckett was lionised and won the Nobel prize, but became ‘weary with words’

16/10/2016
The International Literary Quarterly

'As it happens, I’m currently learning to use my first smartphone, and because I am clumsy with the tiny keys, I find myself resorting to the predicted words that flash up as options. When one is transcribing, one tries to mimic the predictive function on a smartphone (only smarter). Yet even if necessary, to work this way with Beckett is fundamentally misguided, when what is required is a suspension of judgement that prevents one from leaping to what is expectable. Where the smartphone predicts the most likely word in any context, what Beckett often chooses is the least likely. And he does so in a language that is itself perilously unforeseeable'.

–From an extraordinary letter from Dan Gunn to Peter Robertson on editing The Letters of Samuel Beckett, The Cahiers Series and 'the groves of academe'.

Shanta AcharyaMarjorie AgosínDonald AdamsonDiran AdebayoNausheen AhmadToheed AhmadAmanda AizpurieteBaba AkoteElisa AlboDaniel AlbrightMeena AlexanderRosetta AllanMaría Teresa AndruettoInnokenty AnnenskyClaudia ApablazaRobert AppelbaumMichael ArdittiJenny ArganteSandra ArnoldC.J.K. ArkellAgnar Artúve...

[I]t’s only now, after 31 years of editorial heroics by Fehsenfeld and her team, that her own original correspondence wi...
01/10/2016
The Letters of Samuel Beckett Volume IV review — ‘I work on’

[I]t’s only now, after 31 years of editorial heroics by Fehsenfeld and her team, that her own original correspondence with Beckett appears in this fourth and last volume of the Letters. “It will be,” he writes clairvoyantly, “a most difficult job, and I am relieved at the thought of its being in such devoted and capable hands as yours.” It’s now possible to say with some certainty that his relief wasn’t misplaced.

–Christopher Taylor on vol.4 of The Letters of Samuel Beckett for the Financial Times

Beckett’s later correspondence reveals a writer confronting decline and mortality — and managing a complex personal life

The editing of this volume, as of the previous three, is phenomenal in its thoroughness, doggedness and clarity. The edi...
25/09/2016
Books: The Letters of Samuel Beckett Vol 4: 1966-1989, ed George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois More Overbeck

The editing of this volume, as of the previous three, is phenomenal in its thoroughness, doggedness and clarity. The editors explain abbreviations, so that, by “Kind PA on HD. DM could direct”, Beckett means: “Kind of Peggy Ashcroft to ask to play Winnie in Happy Days. Donald McWhinnie could direct it.” Their loving (it is the only word) attentiveness makes you feel you know the modernist dinosaur better than before. And feel absurdly pleased that he comes across as a good man — sending money to writers in need such as Djuna Barnes, dishing out signed manuscripts to be sold for cash by the indigent, supporting
unpublished writers whose stuff he likes, offering his favourite disciple Harold Pinter praise and the occasional rap on the knuckles, supporting worthy causes, keeping a pilot light glowing under his friends and relatives.

–John Walsh in an enthusiastic review for the The Times and The Sunday Times

“In the last three weeks,” Samuel Beckett wrote to his lover Barbara Bray in 1969, “I have written approx 500 cards, notes & letters of acknowledgment. I suppose your reaction to this will be...

19/09/2016
Excess of language

While his musings are never less than interesting, the fact that Lambert wishes them to be more than that places a strain on the pages describing the encounter with the first [Caspar David] Friedrich painting, given that he can adduce no evidence of Beckett’s actually having seen it. He has to find more and more ways of saying, essentially, “I don’t know, but I hope he did”: “il n’est pas impossible”, he writes, “j’en suis convaincu”, “comment ne pas penser que”, “on ne peut toutefois pas exclure” and so on.

–Dan Gunn on two new works about Beckett in this week's Times Literary Supplement

Both Avant Godot and Beckett’s Art of Mismaking imply, when not actually claiming, that most of what is innovative and startling in the “mature” Samuel Beckett – the French Beckett, that is, of the post-war period – is adumbrated by the early work in English; both concentrate on what formed the auth...

Here is a book which, as soon as I could get sight of a copy, I could not stop myself reading straight through, nothing ...
15/09/2016
The Letters of Samuel Beckett: Volume IV: 1966-1989 - review

Here is a book which, as soon as I could get sight of a copy, I could not stop myself reading straight through, nothing being more urgent to me. These are not long, revelatory or self-disclosing letters — and to those who do not know or love Beckett many might even seem perfunctory or mannered. But every one of them, however brief, is a considered act by Beckett. Each is an example of how he conducted himself. Taken together they constitute a substantial addition to his body of writing. There are wonderful finds to be made here, to be taken to heart.

–The first review is in. David Sexton on vol.4 of The Letters of Samuel Beckett

Here is a book which, as soon as I could get sight of a copy, I could not stop myself reading straight through, nothing being more urgent to me. These are not long, revelatory or self-disclosing letters — and to those who do not know or love Beckett many might even seem perfunctory or mannered. But…

At the same time, however, there’s a strong sense of not belonging – this is a landscape that “would not be colonised by...
07/09/2016
Book review: Going Bush by Kirsty Gunn

At the same time, however, there’s a strong sense of not belonging – this is a landscape that “would not be colonised by our games! We were little white children, little Pakehas the Maoris would have called us, lost in the midst of it.” Gunn notes that, during her childhood, trees indigenous to New Zealand were known as “natives... because they were not oak or pine or ash”. The bush is everything that exists beyond the areas that have been westernised, and somebody who spends too much time out there is said to have “gone bush” – changed on some fundamental level, perhaps made less western, but perhaps also made more of a New Zealander.

–Roger Cox reviews Cahier 27 by Kirsty Gunn for The Scotsman

The idea that our identity is somehow bound up with the physical landscape of the place we’re from is as old as western civilisation; certainly as old as The Odyssey, which wouldn’t be much of an epic if Odysseus hadn’t had such a burning desire to get home to Ithaca.

Here's another report of The Letters of Samuel Beckett event with Gunn and Craig, with the helpful (we hope) reminder to...
07/09/2016
Other review: George Craig & Dan Gunn: Samuel Beckett's Letters at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Here's another report of The Letters of Samuel Beckett event with Gunn and Craig, with the helpful (we hope) reminder to reviewers that "This fourth volume, available in September 2016, doesn't have any salacious details of his various affairs or personal revelations, not, according to his editors, because they have cut such things out but because he never wrote about them in his letters".

Other review of George Craig & Dan Gunn: Samuel Beckett's Letters at Edinburgh International Book Festival, reviewer: David Chadderton

Some lovely quotations from volume 4 of The Letters of Samuel Beckett in Heather McDaid's write-up of Dan Gunn and Georg...
07/09/2016
#edbookfest: George Craig, Dan Gunn & Samuel Beckett’s Letters.

Some lovely quotations from volume 4 of The Letters of Samuel Beckett in Heather McDaid's write-up of Dan Gunn and George Craig's event, including Beckett's legendary response to the question "Why do you write": "Bon qu'à ça" (All I'm good for).

The culmination of a vast research project, the fourth volume of The Letters of Samuel Beckett is brought together by scholars George Craig and Dan Gunn. They follow Beckett through his career as a…

Details on our big Paris launch of Volume 4 of The Letters of Samuel Beckett with the École normale supérieure and the C...
06/09/2016
The Letters of Samuel Beckett, 1966-1989 | Agenda

Details on our big Paris launch of Volume 4 of The Letters of Samuel Beckett with the École normale supérieure and the Centre Culturel Irlandais at 18h30 on Thursday, 28 September.

Figure emblématique de la littérature du 20e siècle, Samuel Beckett est connu et reconnu pour son théâtre et sa prose.

06/09/2016
The Letters of Samuel Beckett | Events

Several events around the corner to celebrate the publications of The Letters of Samuel Beckett. This one's at London Review Bookshop 15 November 2016 with Dan Gunn and George Craig (Cahier 16), and you can reserve your tickets now--

In 2009, Cambridge University Press began the monumental project of publishing the selected correspondence of Samuel Beckett. With the fourth volume, published this year, the project reaches completion. Two of the series’ editors, Dan Gunn of the American University of Paris and George Craig of the…

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02/09/2016

Center for Writers and Translators's cover photo

Profile Pictures
01/09/2016

Profile Pictures

Center for Writers and Translators's cover photo
01/09/2016

Center for Writers and Translators's cover photo

'The Center for Writers and Translators at the University of Paris solicited me to write Shades of the Other Shore in co...
17/06/2016
Interview with Author Jeffrey Green of "Wild Edibles"

'The Center for Writers and Translators at the University of Paris solicited me to write Shades of the Other Shore in collaboration with American painter Ralph Petty. I was hugely honored. Their Cahier Series includes some of the most distinguished international authors, including Nobel-Prize winners. This series is unique in that the writing must be new and must address issues of translation. Ralph and I approached the translation assignment in a conceptual way: each interpreting his adopted French landscape—his in the Ardèche, and mine in Burgundy—through our American sensibilities in art, language, and experience. Ralph painted a series of beautiful river views in watercolor, and I wrote a sequence of poems and prose sketches about our village, and some humorous interactions with my mother. The Loing River passes through our village on its way to the Seine, so I was able to work in river references to hook in with Ralph’s images.'

—Jeffrey Green on Shades from the Other Shore (Cahier 20)

Author Jeffrey Greene talks with France Today about life in Burgundy, Paris, and his new book, "In Pursuit of Wild Edibles: A Forager’s Tour."

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