That Other Word: Episode 11

A free online podcast discussing literature and translation

An announcement from That Other Word:

That Other Word is a podcast run jointly by Daniel Medin (Center for Writers and Translators, Paris) and Scott Esposito (Center for the Art of Translation, San Francisco).

Each episode features a discussion between Daniel and Scott on recent noteworthy literature in translation, and then an in-depth interview with writers, translators, editors, and publishers. The podcast hopes to celebrate and explore various and under-appreciated aspects of translation, not only into and out of English, but other languages as well.

Hosts Daniel Medin and Scott Esposito return after a summer of reading full of praise for a characteristically broad range of texts. First, they delight over Robert Walser’s A Schoolboy’s Diary and Other Stories, a newly-translated collection which features several original illustrations by Walser’s brother, and a long-awaited selected poems in English from an under-appreciated Italian poet, Patrizia Cavalli’s My Poems Won’t Change the World, translated by “a host of luminaries.” Jáchym Topol’s The Devil’s Workshop provides a dose of clever Eastern European gallows humor, and Giocomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone proves, at over 2500 pages, to be a brilliant addition to one’s nightstand. Finally, the hosts express their deep admiration and gratitude for a house favorite, László Krasznahorkai’s Seiobo There Below, which represents a culmination of thirty years of the author’s work.

In the second half of the episode, Scott Esposito speaks to Will Evans, publisher and founder of Deep Vellum Press in Dallas, Texas. Their lively conversation opens with the story of how Deep Vellum got its “cheeky and irreverent” name and a discussion of Texas’ thriving literary and cultural scene. Evans speaks in detail about his decision to found a press, his close collaboration with Chad Post of Open Letter Books, and the historical, financial, and intellectual considerations in becoming a publisher of literature in translation. After waxing enthusiastic about his favorite presses and authors, Evans lays out Deep Vellum’s inaugural catalogue. Reflecting his profound commitment to equal gender representation among his authors, Evans introduces Anne Garréta, the politically radical Oulipian whose novel Sphinx is a genderless love story; Sergio Pitol, the great Mexican novelist whose Trilogy of Memory Deep Vellum will bring into English; Mikhail Shishkin, who is of particular interest to Evans due to his background in Russian, and whose short stories should appeal to anyone who loved Maidenhair; and Carmen Boullosa, another Mexican writer whose novel Texas supports Evan’s abiding wish to explore Texas’ relationship with its southern neighbor.


Listen to Episode 11 on That Other Word website.


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