Wednesday, 4 June 2008

GBO Rights List

The New York German Book Office has revamped its website - but I still don't find it all that user-friendly, I'm sorry to say. The best thing to do is fiddle around until you get to the pdf Fiction Rights List for Spring 2008 - which is a thing of beauty. Not just the whole presentation - it's a gorgeous shade of regal purple - the titles on the list look great too. There's Clemens Meyer, Ulrich Pelzer, Sherko Fatah and more. Plus mentions of Marcel Beyer's Kaltenburg, which I'm reading right now, and Karen Duve's Taxi, which I'll be picking up from the bookshop this afternoon. Schmakofatzki.

And Chad Post at Three Percent (why do people write "over at Other Blog X"? Is it to indicate that they're all big buddies who live round the corner from each other in the virtual hood? I'll try to avoid it in future) writes about a panel discussion with the Grand Fromage of the GBO, Riky Stock - on funding translation. Because this is something the GBO does too, and rather well, it would seem. Post writes:

One of the things that everyone seemed to agree on was that the next logical step in cultural funding was to help market these titles rather than simply paying for the translation. It’s important to get money to offset translation costs—that’s a huge additional cost and without subsidies I suspect a lot of translators would be paid an embarrassingly tiny amount for their work—but helping cultivate an audience for these works will pay off big in the long run.

Of course helping to promote books in translation is something English PEN, at least, already does. Five books a year may be a drop in the ocean, but it's a great start. One of them is Saša Stanišić's How The Soldier Repairs the Gramophone. More on that later...

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