Literature

The View from the Postcolonial Caucasus

Rebecca Gould— High in the mountains running along the border between Azerbaijan and Georgia, in the garrison town of Zaqatala, former outpost of the famed Imam Shamil who in the mid-nineteenth century led the longest resistance to Russian rule, I meet an elderly woman crossing the street. “Come inside and

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The Lesser-Known Works of Miguel de Cervantes

Roberto González Echevarría— Twelve brilliant short novels, packed with compelling plots and fascinating characters, redolent with literary games of the greatest variety and sophistication, were the author of Don Quixote’s response to his suddenly acquired fame. It was a new kind of book, never seen before in the Spanish language,

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A Closer Look at Contemporary Greek Fiction

Today, we’re highlighting two works of contemporary Greek fiction published in English through our Margellos series: Thanassis Vatinos’s Orthokostá and Zyranna Zateli’s At Twilight They Return. First released in 1994 to a storm of controversy, Orthokostá defied standard interpretations of the Greek Civil War. Through the documentary-style testimonies of multiple narrators, among them

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Bob Dylan: Reluctant Prophet

David Yaffe— The biggest misconception about Dylan, among the unbelievers, is that his cawing derision is somehow an impediment to appreciation. The second biggest (and this is among the believers) is that he is a poet before he is a lyricist and a performer, and that the latter two represent

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Foreigners and Strangers: Irène Némirovsky’s Jewish Protagonists

Susan Suleiman— The French word étranger means both “foreigner” and “stranger,” meanings that overlap but are not synonymous. One can be a stranger to a community or group without being a foreigner, while some foreigners are not strangers to a given individual or group—many people have foreign friends. But both

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Writing Children’s Stories in Wartime

The following entries are excerpted from War Diaries, 1939-1945 (Yale University Press, 2016), a transcription of the personal diaries of Astrid Lindgren, author of the Pippi Longstocking books. Illustrated with family photographs, newspaper clippings, and facsimile pages, Lindgren’s diaries provide an intensely personal and vivid account of Europe during the Second World War. ∞

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The Artful Religion of William Blake

Leo Damrosch— Religion was profoundly important to Blake, in a questing and questioning way that is thought-provoking even for readers and viewers who are not religious at all. One of his first experiments in relief etching was a little pamphlet entitled All Religions Are One, which asserts that however much

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A Conversation with Leo Braudy: Embodiments of Fear in Books, Films, Religion, and More

Yale University Press had the pleasure of interviewing Leo Braudy, author of the forthcoming Haunted: On Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, Zombies, and Other Monsters of the Natural and Supernatural Worlds. Braudy, a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, is also the author of The Frenzy

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Why Translation Matters

In Why Translation Matters, acclaimed translator Edith Grossman argues for the cultural importance of translation and for a more encompassing and nuanced appreciation of the translator’s role. For Grossman, translation has a transcendent importance. The following is comprised of excerpts from Why Translation Matters. Translation is crucial to our sense of ourselves as

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Analyzing Word Choice for Translating Foreign Languages

Alex Zucker— Translating Tomáš Zmeškal’s Love Letter in Cuneiform was a joy, to be honest, because of his sense of humor and the play and playfulness within the text itself. One example of this that also demonstrates how literary translation is not simply a reproduction in English of the original

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