Tuesday 15 October 2013

Multiple Uljana Wolf Whammy

O! The new issue of Asymptote is online! It is full of things, but may I draw your attention in particular to some of the laciest poems ever by Uljana Wolf, translated by Shane Anderson, and an essay by Uljana Wolf, translated by me. If you like that kind of thing they have links to the originals.

Mini-making-of: An Asymptote editor and I attended a rather odd event at which Uljana Wolf and Christian Hawkey talked about erasure and their joint book in front of a bunch of students, and then the students asked the kind of questions I personally don't think writers ought to be asked. They had their baby with them and she was a bit wriggly and wanted to be held all the time, which made matters difficult, so I offered my baby-holding services. Uljana read the very essay you too can enjoy at Asymptote, and said editor and I went a bit gooey-eyed (on top of my baby-induced gooey-eyedness). He said could they put it in Asymptote, and I said could I translate it, and that was that.

(Whispering) I took a few little liberties. It was a great pleasure to translate. The essay is about erasure and snow and the Monkees and how Rilke was a bad translator and very possibly an arsehole to boot. And about Elizabeth Barrett Browning and this lovely book.


Anonymous said...

You can't just go around booting arseholes any more, you know, even if they are bad translators.

Henry Holland said...

Rilke was a precious arsehole, no doubt; was reading recently again about his mistreatment of Paula (Modersohn) Becker, & getting angry about it -- not letting her visit Clara, after she'd just given birth to their child, just so he could live out some horrible isolated romantic idyll. German academic lit. is good & funny on his arsehole-ness too; deadly serious debates about how bad his 'Masturbationszwang' actually was. So an arsehole & a wanker. The hardest thing is beside all that he was such a great writer; difficult to separate those two things. Best, Henry