My translation of Jenny Erpenbeck’s latest book, Not a Novel, is included in World Literature Today’s 75 Notable Translations of 2020, and it also made The Paris Review Staff’s Favorite Books of 2020!
Wireless Dada has been getting some good reviews lately! In German Quarterly, Tobias Wilke writes: “Wireless Dada is an original and well-conceived contribution to the field of avant-garde studies, and more generally to the media-historical study of literature. The book combines the virtues of close textual analysis and broader discursive contextualization in ways that open up new vistas onto a number of much-discussed Dadaist texts.”
And Michael Subialka says in EuropeNow: “Wireless Dada helps us to uncover a new model for Dada poetics: the author is replaced with the transcriber, the cryptographer, the medium, and the telegraph operator. Not simply a movement protesting the destruction of war and the logic of industrial modernity leading to it, Dada is also a complex recognition of the new systems of information linking the globe and tying seemingly disparate creators into a network of vibrating voices filling the modern skies.”
Jenny Erpenbeck and I were both interviewed by David Naimon for his radio show and podcast Between the Covers — if you don’t know it already, he does great in-depth conversations with authors, and sometimes with their translators, too. The interview with Erpenbeck is online here. The bonus segments are generally only available to supporters, but he’s kindly given me permission to post the interview he did with me, so if you’re interested, have a listen!
My translation of Jenny Erpenbeck’s book Not a Novel is out this month from New Directions, and it’s already gotten some great reviews. Kirkus calls it “an ideal introduction to the life and work of an exceptional artist.” Lithub calls Erpenbeck “a powerful voice singing the past into the present’s melody.” Necia Chronister in World Literature Today says “The pieces in this collection are best savored one by one, and by taking time to consider Erpenbeck’s views on writing, artistic influence, social justice, the meaning of childhood, and more. Her words stay with you.” John Domini in The Washington Post says “the impact is of a master at work, someone who ought to be considered for the Nobel.” Read more about it here.
I have two new(ish) articles out that deal with Concrete poetry from different angles: one in German about Max Bense’s Terry Jo, and one in English in the Journal of Lusophone Studies that discusses Bense and Eugen Gomringer, with some connections to Brazilian Concrete poetry. A third is on the way…
My book Wireless Dada Telegraphic Poetics in the Avant-Garde is out now from Northwestern University Press. Read more about it on their website. You can order the paperback edition directly from the publisher at a 25% discount using the discount code NUP2019.
This Saturday I’ll be presenting at the symposium “Art and the Contemporary Refugee: Narratives, Memorials, Communities” at the Kemper Art Museum, an event organized by Sabine Eckmann and Svea Bräunert in connection with the museum’s current exhibition, Ai Weiwei: Bare Life. My talk is entitled “Imagining Migration: Human Rights and Refugees in Erpenbeck and Ai Weiwei.”
My translation of a brief essay by Jenny Erpenbeck on the fall of the Berlin Wall was published in The Guardian on November 9, 2019. Read it here.
My latest article, published in April in The German Quarterly, discusses Regina Ullmann’s fiction, a Heimatfilm called Hoch droben auf dem Berg, and contemporary digital art by Monica Studer and Christoph van den Berg. It’s an exploration of how the concept of Heimat interacts with the idea of mediation, with the alliterative title “High‐Tech Heimat: Mountains and Mediation in Literature, Film, and Digital Art.”
“My writing began with reflections on borders, reflections on how we change over the course of our lives, voluntarily or involuntarily, reflections on what identity is, and how much we can lose without losing ourselves.” Read my translation of Jenny Erpenbeck’s 2018 Puterbaugh Keynote lecture, online in World Literature Today.