A year on winstons legacy

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Well today sees a year since I lost my dear boy , my beloved hound Winston , hence this blogs name  winstonsdad . I could have change the name over the last year I have change a few things title colour and from today a new tagline but the name is here to stay forever as is this blog I won’t ever stop blogging about books in translation  . I have had a tough twelve months blogging wise but I feel this last two months I have started to get back  into a routine which is something I had lost for about a year .But I feeel that was maybe the six year itch of the blogging world and has passed  .I do post a lot but to me I had let the standard of this blog slip and not been an active blogger even twitter has become quieter place for me . But I am trying to get back to a few years ago .So people still even a year on know who winston was he was a big part of my world in bring you all the world of books .Thanks to all those that helped with the go fund I did as well .It touched me to see so many folks care .

 

Women in translation Month a sneak peek at what I’m doing

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Now here is the first pic of five books that have already been read ready for Women in translation month . This selection includes the much talked about The vegetarian bu HanKang , a trio of interlinking stories from Korea . Then we get two new to english writers from France Emilie de Turckheim book Heloise is bald , about a girl growing up in love with the doctor that was at her birth .Then there is  by Helle Helle book this should be written in the present tense follows a student falling of the rails in great detail .The we have the second book by Finnish writer Sofi Oksanen a story of two lives during world war two . Then there is Lenora a sort of bridge between my Spanish lit month and next months Women in translation by Meytal from Biblibio  as it is a spanish translation the story of Lenora Carrington the English surrealist painter that lived in Mexico by Elena Poniatowska . So they are in the pipeline read and ready to go next month . I now have a few possible books no firm plans yet but as I am in a purple patch of reading an blogging I can’t see why I cannot read another five books next month .

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A selection of woman writers from my shelves some of these and maybe a few others will be joining the first five books two writers I want to add are Faiza Guene one brightest french talents and also Maguerite Yourcenar one best women writers in French in the 20th century . I also have not pictured a second book by Clarice lispector that Amanda brought me . As I looked today through my shelves I was surprised how many books by woman in translation I had (There is at least another 20 plus books on my shelves ) .I felt I didn’t take the first women in translation to serious as for me it is a case of  subdividing a topic of more books in English in translation to a smaller topic of women in translation to my mind getting more books translated will lead to more female writers being translated as we only translate 4% of the total books published we maybe need get the figure up as a whole . But this year I want to join in more as they are all books in translation and that is all this blog is doing these days .I look forward to seeing what others review this month , what have you in mind ?

 

 

Yeats Day

W B Yeats book

Well its a double hit this week of Irish writer days today is the 150th annivesary of the birth of William Butler Yeats .I first came across Yeats at school he is one of the few Poets I have actually like from reading the first poem by him which I was The Magi . I brought the above copy about twenty years ago and have read it few many times .This collection was sorted and put together by Yeats himself so I found it maybe a choice of what he considered his best work and for me that is good enough my copy came out in 1938  .Then later in the week we have this years Bloomsday .

The Stolen Child

WHERE dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

I choose the first two verses of Stolen child as it ties in with a song version of the poem from the Waterboys . It is also worth checking out there album of songs from his poems a n appointment with Mr Yeats .

Have you a favourite  poem by him

 

Hello I’m back and lets get ready to blog

Now why start this post with Hitler as potrayed by Bruno Ganz .Well whilst I’ve been away ok my mind was elsewhere .I sadly lost my wonderful stepmother last week , but was thankful for the time spent with her and my dad more than in recent years , then this last weekend I rested and started turnong my mind back to the blog .But also to as Simon of Savidge reads does ever so often a state of the blog post came to mind .Partly set  on this track by reading The Ogre by Michel Tournier a 1970 Prix Goncourt winner .I remember the early days of this blog when I read just books I found and read everything I could lay my hands on at the Library .This lead to my blog maybe having the widest range of books in its early years , recently I feel as thou I ran out of steam I let things go I loved .Things I started I have let slip when I should be running and curating these things . I started both translation thurs on twitter and the shadow iffp both of which I have let slide this last year . I will be bringing t the fun back to this blog and to me in general I feel a weight has been lifted something in the back of my head that had been on my mind for over a year has gone now so I can set my body and soul  back on the blog . I started with Bruno Ganz as this is  clip well-known a clip to break free of being a world cinema film , like Je’t Aime by Serge Gainsbourg or Lisbeth Salander from Steig Larsson books . All these have broken out of the groove . Why well to me they appeal to something in all of us a base instinct  , not to a critical discussion on lit in translation , world cinema or world music . No they grab you Bruno Ganz as the angry Hitler losing control appeals as we would maybe love to get that angry or even to blow our tops that way , hence the number of spoof videos around the net .Serge singing we would all love to be the lover like him , or the blood and guts like Lisbeth . That is what I need to do not say how this book is in a large scheme of literature or discussion of the finer points of its merit” no” , there is plenty of quality magazines or books out there . I have a number books in this line western canon etc and  I get the LRB . But no to me the point of this blog is to be like that annoying kid in class that always had the latest music, that at time you went it isn’t for me , but then went home listen to and went damm this guy is in the loop . A cheerleader for translation anything but a bloody bore on the place of a book hell who the hell am i to say that  about it !! sorry I feel I was heading this way my reviews have been boring and maybe me just doing the motions , I not been trying to have fun to worried about word counts and maybe trying to seem like I know what I am on about , I don’t always 500 books in every book to me is still an adventure and an escape maybe I not been putting that across enough .So let’s go discover books together , lets find lists of great books around the world and start a collective cheer around the world .I will allow the feel shadow IFFP announce the winner tomorrow as I feel my part is to small this year to do it

Winston’s books of the year

Well its been a bumper year and I always find picking my books of a year hard so here we go with 12  from what I’ve read the year .of course there is many more I would have added but a dozen  seems a good number and  the dozen I chosen have challenge me in some ways and maybe pushed me as a reader .I also include a similar book this year on each book .

1.Heaven and hell / The sorrow of angels by Jon Kalman Steffanson

The first two books of a trilogy of novels that I finally got to read this year set in Iceland follow a young man’s journey through Iceland ,.Both these need two readings by myself but in the end I feel in love with Stefansson poetic vision of the world . also butterflies in November by Audur ava Olafsdottir

SOrrow of angels

2 The search warrant by Patrick Modiano

Well a quick jump in his betting before winning the Nobel prize prompt me to try the only book that was readily available at the time . A man trace a young Jewish woman’s journey during the war , but also finds intersections with his own life .Great that he won the Nobel so now we can get more of his book to read ! also The safety net By Heinrich Boll

 

 

 

 

3 Zone by Matihas Enard

Zone follows a man’s train journey through Italy as he remembers how europe fell apart and how he has in his case the secrets to this and the chance to redeem himself by selling this to the vatican also the tower by Uwe Tellkamp

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4 The corpse washer by Sinan Antoon

A gem discovered via this years IFFP prize a young man in Iraq’s dreams shattered as he returns to his father’s career as a corpse washer during the war . also The Iraqi christ by Hassan Blasim

The Corpse Washer

5 The ingenious gentleman and poet Federico Garcia Lorca ascends into hell by Carlos Roja

Well it wins the title for the longest title this year a clever novel that follows the spanish poet Lorca through hell as he relived parts of his life .also The sermon on the fall of Rome by Jerome Ferrari

Carlos Rojas the ingenious gentleman and poet Federico Garica Lorca ascends to hell

6 Bilbao – New York – Bilbao by Kirmen Uribe

A writer think ing about his novel he is writing about growing up in a small fishing port on a flight to New york . A clever ode to a dying world of his family and their fishermen lives . also A notebook by Agota Kristoff

 

 

7 A french novel by Frederic Beigbeder

Auto fiction a story of a night after he won a prize and was arrested and then remembering the relationship he has had with his brother . also Liveforever by Andres Caciedo

a french novel

8 The false apocalypse by Fatos  Lubonja

The collapse that followed capitalism dawning in Albania is captured and told on the national and personnel level by one of the leading minds in the country . also Sworn Virgins by Elvira Drones

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9 The Neruda case by Roberto Ampuero

A young solider is enlist by the great Chilean poet to trace the woman in Neruda’s life to find out what happened to them a journey that takes him around the world . also twilight of the eastern gods by Ismail kadare

10 Zenith Hotel by Oscar Coop -Phane

Well I am on the cover of this book quote a woman sits in  a hotel as the flotsam and jetsam of the local city sleep with her we hear her story and their stories .also The people in the photo by Helene gestern

zenith hotel cover

11 Dead lake by Hamid Ismailov

The story of a man that stayed a child after swimming a lake in the former soviet unions hinterland .Also Solar plexus by Rustam Ibragimbekov

the dead lake

12 Harraga by Boualem Sansal

Two women bought together in a house one young a modern arab woman the other dreamy and quiet a typical arab woman see the changing world of Algeria outside them .also Barbarian spring by Jonas Luscher

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Hot chops in space and burnt moby dick the world of book stunts

Well in the space of 24 hours the net has been alive with two books stunts of course book stunts have been about for years , from Georges Simenon once wrote a book whilst sealed in a glass box .The stunts in last two days have seen the wonderful Nikesh Shukla doing a stunt by sending a tandoori lamb chop into space to promote his book Meat space which I reviewed and I still think is one best comic looks at the internet and how people interact with it in the modern age .A fun way to highlight a great book .

The second stunt is worrying as it sees James Patterson burning books to highlight the drop in reading in the US , now the cause is right like the UK people read fewer books than they once did , from my own knowledge the main problem in the US is diverse literature for kids , it is hard to identify with books if the people you read about aren’t the same as you , well I could say maybe more books from the Spanish-speaking world for kids translated may help and more African fiction .What got me is him burning good books , his own well I know people love him, but for me he has become the Andy Warhol of fiction , he has ideas gets others to write the book on the whole and then puts his name on the cover .I wish someone would do a stunt like this that gets the papers attention to translated fiction !! Maybe I need to think up some mad idea ?

How would you get people reading books , it is an eternal question how often do you see a book on tv shows ? Now libraries are closing here I worry how the next generation will get on .

 

1000 posts not out

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I love milestones on the blog ,but also worry getting  near to them. But today sees a big one a 1000 posts have been  featured on the blog it has only taken Five years and five months to reach this point I remeber being blown away years ago when my friend Rob or robaround the books reached this point .well  for me what has changed in those fiver years well a lot really I’d struggle to get a couple of hundred words written on a book five years ago now I tend to write seven to eight hundred words on a book .I have also started the wonderful #translationthurs meme via the blog that happens every week on twitter  and has even made a cover of a book .I also started a shadow jury for the IFFP orize , which has seen me attend the prize for a number of year ,something that which out the blog I wouldn’t have done .people I have meet many wonderful people bloggers , writers ,translators and even publishers .I have in my way discovered the writer in me as I find it easier to write about things now than I  used to year ago , still not great on grammar and maybe find it hard to find the right word sometimes but it is a lot easier than it was .Confidence is another thing I have gained in myself , I feel that is the main thing that I have gained in speaking about books in translation I have been able to gain a voice in other parts of my life .I can’t wait to reach another milestone probably a thousand reviews only 499 more to go !!

German lit Month 2014

Well I ‘ve been slow in my German reading this year usually I’m on the ball as German lit is one of my favourite to read  ,but I’ve had so much arrive this last month I’ve just not got as many as I have read as I  other years ready but I have  five books read already so I ‘ve some read to get the ball rolling for 2014 .This year again we have a set of weeks to follow so I ‘ll try and squeeze my books into them , I ‘m just back after a week off blogging and have a lot of books to cover so my German lit month this year will be less than other years but here is what I have read –

The safety net by Heinrich Boll

The Glory of life by Michael Kumpfmuller

A price to pay by Alex Capus

Amok by Stefan Zweig

All quiet on the western front by Erich Maria Remarque

and am currently reading

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Raw Material by Jorg Fauser

The legend of the holy drinker by Joesph Roth

Now in reserve are these books

IMG_2003What have you read or are hoping to read this time round ?

 

Winstons music Spike Island

On sky this week was the film Spike island a fictional take on four young lads in a band taking the trip to see the legendary Stone Roses gig on Spike Island , I could have gone to this gig back in 1990 a number of my friends went , I was a fan of them , not a big fan then as I was till a mad smiths fan back then .I did have a few stone rose t-shirts at the time , also the baggy jeans and Joe Bloggs sweatshirt that were the fashion .The film brought back the times for me , I remember hearing the stone rose for the first time at a friend’s house who had recorded them on a Tony Wilson show on  tv , i think it was called after dark , which at this time he had all the up and coming bands from Manchester the Happy Mondays and inspiral carpets were also both on it .I enjoyed the remind of my teen years , any fans of the music or growing up at the time will love the film it is steeped in the time and of course has loads of stone rose songs in it .I like being on the very edge of this time the Madchester scene , I had a friend at college that wrote the fanzine for Inspiral carpets for me the most underrated of the madchester bands , closely followed by the new fast automatic dafodils , that burnt out to soon .

Where you a fan of the madchester scene ?

The dawning of a new age welcome to chrome

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Well for last eighteen months I had been blogging on my laptop with a broken screen (that I had broken myself by carrying it downstairs by the screen ) with two-thirds of it actually useable ,but as time has gone on the pizels have start to disappear ,as little threads of  black started spreading across the screen making it slowly hard to see my wordpress page and navigate it ,so I had a bit of luck this week when my father gave me some money to celebrate the birth of of my brothers new babe my new nephew Jack .So I decide it was time to try a new OS the Chrome OS as a chromebook is cheaper than a basic laptop and for my needs mainly blogging is perfect so  I give you my new babe the tosihiba chromebook ,I like to think it looks a bit like a macbook air at a glance which is great as it cost a lot less .So hopefully I’ll be able to blog a bit more as the chromebook has such a quick boot up time I will be free to blog in a spare few mins to get a few more post written every month hopefully .

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