Adam Ash

Your daily entertainment scout. Whatever is happening out there, you'll find the best writing about it in here.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Bookplanet: read translations

I went to a panel about translations of literary novels featuring Dennis from MobyLives, Michael from Literary Saloon, and Chad from Dalkey Archive Press. One disquieting figure: out of the 185,000 books published last year in the U.S., only 874 were translations of novels. It costs $35,000 to publish and market a translated novel, which only makes about $13,000 selling to a small audience of university libraries. So I made a promise: for every English-written novel I read, I'm going to read a translated novel. One man's lonely quest to broaden the isolation in which English keeps him. Join me. One reason the Muslim world is so pre-modern (a kinder word than medieval) is because so few books are translated into Arabic.


At 5/23/2005 9:25 PM, Blogger Tracy Q said...

Hello hello, what about the problem of Arabic books not being translated into English???

I am just getting up to speed on Mohammed Choukri (Moroccan writer, recently dead) and I think it's a crime that he's not been more widely translated or distributed. Before the sex worker literati was discovered by the NY TIMES, Choukri was telling his story to the world. He was planting our roots (while hanging out with Genet and Bowles.) Yes, the beauty of sex worker lit is that our roots are international.


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