“That Other Word,” a collaborative podcast between the Center for Writers and Translators at the American University of Paris and the Center for the Art of Translation in San Francisco, offers discussions on classic and contemporary literature in translation, along with engaging interviews with writers, translators, and publishers.
In this first episode, Daniel Medin and Scott Esposito chat about the accidental poetry and reasonable plausibility of César Aira’s Varamo, the miraculous strangeness of László Krasznahorkai’s Satantango, and the hopping city at the heart of Robert Walser’s Berlin Stories. They also mention recent and upcoming events at their respective centers, including the CWT’s publication of the latest in The Cahiers Series, A Labour of Moles by Ivan Vladislavić, and the upcoming visit of Jay Rubin and J. Philip Gabriel, translators of Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, at the Center.
Afterward, Scott Esposito is joined by Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review and former senior editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux. They discuss editing the English version of Jean-Christophe Valtat’s 03 (translated by Mitzi Angel), procuring the rights to Roberto Bolaño’s works and editing Natasha Wimmer’s translations, failure and what separates translation from other kinds of writing, "living with books," and why The Paris Review publishes what it does. The conversation concludes with Edouard Levé, touching on his aphoristic influences, his humor, his suicide, and his book Autoportrait, which Stein has recently translated from the French.
Table of Contents
INTRO: Daniel Medin and Scott Esposito
1:00 That Other Word’s origins and ambitions
2:35 César Aira’s Varamo
4:27 László Krasznahorkai’s Satantango
8:13 Robert Walser’s Berlin Stories
12:48 Recent events at the CWT: Helen DeWitt, Cynthia Haven, Ivan Vladislavić’s A Labour of Moles
13:58 Recent and upcoming events at the CAT: Perry Link, Richard Howard, Jay Rubin and J. Philip Gabriel, Sergio Chejfec
15:45 Scott Esposito introduces Lorin Stein
FEATURE: Scott Esposito interviews Lorin Stein
16:30 Introductions and editing translations at FSG
21: 26 Jean-Christophe Valtat’s 03
28:23 Roberto Bolaño’s The Third Reich
30:10 The work of translating
31:20 Editing 03
34:49 Discovering, translating, and procuring the rights to Roberto Bolaño
44:40 Trends in American literature
51:00 Work at The Paris Review
55:00 Edouard Levé