Friday, December 30, 2011

Absinthe 2011: A Few of Our Favorite Things

At Absinthe we're quite fond of our local library and are fortunate to live close enough to see it from our window, and though we advocate borrowing books there are some that definitely belong on your own book shelf at home. These are a few of our favorite books (and other things) from 2011:

Karaoke Culture by Dubravka Ugresic

Stone Upon Stone by Wieslaw Mysliwski

Coming from an Off-Key Time by Bogdan Suceava

12 Who Don't Agree by Valery Panyushkin

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky

Picture World by Niels Frank

Not much to say about cinema though we did enjoy Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris and our favorite blockbuster film to absolutely avoid is Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Don't waste your money!

Our favorite music video features, what else? Supermodels.

And our favorite newsletter of 2011 is the new Absinthe newsletter sent out monthly on the 15th! You can sign up right here for news about Absinthe, interesting events, book & film recommendations, and more.

We're looking forward to a great 2012 and wish you all a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Absinthe #16 is out in the world: get your copy now!

Absinthe 16 is out and has been mailed to contributors and subscribers. It's not too late to get your copy ... you can order it (or subscribe) here.

And don't forget to sign up for our new monthly e-newsletter with news from Absinthe HQ, information about events of interest, book & film recommendations, and much more.

2012 promises to be a great year. A few things to look forward to:

1. Absinthe 17, our special issue on Bulgaria will be published this spring
2. The return of the Absinthe Festival of International Film & Writing
3. Our new book publishing imprint will debut with our first book scheduled for this fall. I can't say much about this now but here is a hint.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chad Post on "Karaoke Culture" by Dubravka Ugresic

I mentioned in my post about the ALTA conference that I'd share some videos interviews I conducted while there and here we are with the first one. Chad Post, from Open Letter Books, talks about one of my favorite books from 2011, Karaoke Culture by Dubravka Ugresic.

(If your browser cuts off part of the video you can watch it here too.)

Interview with Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov

The Literary Saloon brings to our attention an interview with Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov.

An excerpt:
Focus: Where should we seek salvation from the economic crisis? You said we could find it in science.

Georgi Gospodinov: Salvation lies in us understanding that the economic crisis is not solely economic and that the exhaustion of basic things, like human culture and civilisation, lies behind it. This is a crisis of civilisation, not just of economy. This is why I envisage art’s life-saving role as a machine for sense and solace. Things, that we think have long ago happened, will be happening – very simple things. We will be moving towards a new type of ecology – not just of environment, but of men, if we really want to survive.

As mentioned in a previous post, our next issue focuses on Bulgaria and just might include an interview with Gospodinov, along with an excerpt from his new novel. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

2012 Sozopol Fiction Seminar, Fiction Writers Review, and Bulgarian Literature

It's time to start thinking about applying for the 2012 Sozopol Fiction Seminar, sponsored by the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, and over at Fiction Writers Review you can find a couple of reports from the 2011 participants to pique your interest: Part one and part two.

Additionally, worth checking out, is a review and interview with the Bulgarian writer Miroslav Penkov, author of the story collection East of the West.

(And a hint of things to come: Absinthe #17 is a special issue focused on Bulgaria!)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nomad by Sibella Court

Though not a book in translation, Nomad, the newest book by interior designer and writer Sibella Court is a delight to read and peruse. Based on her trips to several international locations, Court's book provides tips on how to use colors, patterns, and keepsakes from travels as style ideas for one's home. Some of her many tips include how to reimagine common objects and fabrics, like old sari borders found in India, and reuse them as tablecloth runners. In another example, a trip to the Syrian desert and a glimpse of Bedouin tents inspires a secluded space in a city loft using linen strung on metal poles. As Court herself says, vacations are too few and far between, but by incorporating a few of her ideas around your home, you can find easy and simple ways to keep your journeys alive around you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Absinthe #16: Gastão Cruz

                         Mas il mio dio se ne va in bicicletta

The boys of whom Sandro Penna speaks
are already dead or old and no longer flee
on bicycles that were the image

of desire in the days of summer
with their living wheels swift spokes
moving toward the inaccessible

place where only the sullied
final breath of all summers
might reach their bodies, rare, mercurial

from Absinthe #16, translated by Alexis Levitin

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Absinthe #16: Katya Metelitsa

"Roza Abramovna herself was a little frightening: she was a good-natured, even kind woman, but extremely loud, plus she sported dark black, bushy eyebrows and a mustache. What scared me was that she had several husbands and talked about them non-stop, referring to them by number: my first husband, my second husband, my third. It was all so mysterious and fascinating."

from "Gooseberries" by Katya Metelitsa, translated by Asya Graf, in Absinthe #16

From no man's land: German literature

The 6th issue of no man's land, the magazine of new German literature in translation, is now online. Featuring a "Poetics of Sustainability" and audio and visuals from Ann Cotten's and Monika Rinck's "The Igel Flies Tonight". Plus poetry by Dieter M. Gräf (who also appeared in Absinthe #1), Christine Marendon, Monika Rinck, Peter Rühmkorf, Ulrike Almut Sandig, Daniela Seel, Jan Wagner and fiction by Zehra Cirak, Eleonore Frey, Michael Lentz, Eva Menasse, Michael Roes, Lutz Seiler and Keto von Waberer.