ReadySteadyBlog

Next Wednesday, 12 June 2013 (18:00 - 19:30) at Goldsmiths Gabriel Josipovici in conversation with Josh Cohen:

Gabriel will read from his work and reflect on the art of fiction with Josh Cohen, Professor of Modern Literary Theory, Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths.

This evening of "politics, poetry & the fictions of modern love... with Danny Hayward, Jennifer Cooke, Reina van der Wiel and Felicity Allen" looks interesting (more at parasol-unit.org), particular the talk by Danny Hayward (How to be Dominated, or, Night Thoughts on Poetry and World History):

The talk will attempt to specify a category of writing that wishes not only to contest the ownership of the category of the popular, but which wants actively to ownthat category. In its first parts it will offer a polemical history of its central category for the previous two centuries of capitalist development, from Schiller via Wordsworth to Brecht, before proceeding to a more speculative discussion of contemporary writing that wishes to seize (and not merely to gain) popularity from the interests for whom popularity is a synonym of turnover. Setting itself in equal opposition to Adorno's view of "high" and "low" culture as two torn halves that will not be added together, and the profitable therapeutics of anything goes, the talk will argue that a contemporary communist popular culture can only function as a comedy of domination instated at the level of syntax, prosody, and narrative. Broadly speaking, the talk will claim that the poetic writing, if it wishes to maintain some relation to historical development, must learn how to work with its own domination.

Verso asks Slavoj Žižek what are his favourite books on Hegel (in preparation for their overnight reading of Less Than Nothing)...

So, if you've been helped (or hindered) by any particular book on Hegel, leave a comment!

Nice idea:

We are pleased to be working with Verso to present History is made at night: a special event over 24 hours to launch Less Than Nothing, the new book by the radical philosopher, polymath, film star and cult icon, Slavoj Žižek.

The event will start with a seminar introducing the thought of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel given by philosopher and writer Iain Hamilton Grant. Žižek will then give a talk, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions and have books signed during a break after the talk...

On Thursday May 3, 6-8pm, Tower Hamlets Local History and Archive, Bancroft Road, London E1 4DQ, Ken Worpole will be talking about Jew Boy by Simon Blumenfeld (republished by London Books with an introductory essay by Ken):

Simon Blumenfeld's 1935 novel Jew Boy distils poverty and politics in the tumultuous world of the Jewish East End in the 1930s, where boxers mixed with anarchist and communists, and Yiddish actors and poets rubbed shoulders with gamblers and gangsters. All were united in their hatred of fascism and prepared to use force when necessary to defeat it.

Tonight, Monday 9th April, at 7:45pm, London's Southbank Centre will host the UK launch for Best European Fiction 2012:

Welsh, Dutch, and German authors will share their stories included in the collection. Duncan Bush, Sanneke van Hassel, and Clemens Meyer will discuss their work with the anthology's editor, Bosnian novelist Aleksandar Hemon, as they confront the issue of what Europe itself means in the 21st century and how the notion of a "European literature" is a continually diversifying concept.

For more information, and to purchase tickets to the event, please click here.

To read interviews with series editor Aleksandar Hemon and personal statements by contributors to this year's volume, click here.

Literature Across Frontiers will be presenting the report Literary Translation from Arabic into English in the UK and Ireland at the Free Word Centre, in London, tonight (from 6.30pm).

"On the 10th anniversary of his death, a unique event celebrating the late, great writer W.G. Max Sebald; with Anthea Bell, Ian Bostridge, A.S. Byatt, Julius Drake (tbc), Ian Galbraith, Dan Gretton, Grant Gee, Rachel Lichtenstein, Christopher MacLehose, Katie Mitchell, Andrew Motion, Iain Sinclair, Will Stone, Bill Swainson, Marina Warner and Stephen Watts. Curated by Gareth Evans; staged in association with Katie Mitchell."

More on the event here...

Tickets are now on sale for the third Picture This at Somerset House – Writers’ Talks in The Courtauld Gallery hosted by Frances Wilson.

Authors and dates include:

  • October 4 – Tracy Chevalier & Iain Sinclair 
  • October 19 – Marina Warner & Frances Spalding
  • October 25 – Geoff Dyer & Blake Morrison

Each author will give a 20 minute talk about their favourite painting from the permanent collection at the Courtauld Gallery. Talks are followed by a Q&A session.

Doors 18.30 for private view of the gallery, event starts 19.00. Tickets: £12.50/£11 concessions. Tickets include private view of the Courtauld Gallery, talk and a complementary drink.

More information at: somersethouse.org.uk

The 2nd International Translation Day Symposium organised by English PEN in partnership with Free Word and the Literary Translation Centre is happening tomorrow, 30th September 2011.

Here is the press release:

One year after the inaugural International Translation Day symposium at the Free Word Centre, professionals in the industry come together to celebrate new achievements and to look at future challenges.

The day kicks off with the launch of the final Global Translation Initiative Report, Taking Flight: New Thinking on World Writing, a series of eighteen vital and illuminating essays from distinguished translators, authors, publishers and journalists from around the globe.

Jonathan Heawood, Director of English PEN, chairs a panel showcasing some of the great translation initiatives that have developed since last year’s International Translation Day. Jane Aitken (publisher, Gallic Press) reveals some of the obstacles of publishing The Elegance of the Hedgehog; Ros Schwartz (translator) discusses mentoring programmes; Sarah Ardizzone (translator)updates us on progress of the schools programme Translation Nation; and Rachel Van Riel (Opening the Book) talks about reader development initiatives that really work.

The afternoon is devoted to a series of workshops with topics ranging from practical issues such as how to get started as a translator, education, funding and training for literary translation, to wider cultural concerns such as literary translation in review media, the role of literary festivals, the translation of minority languages and intercultural understanding.

The day culminates with a keynote speech from acclaimed conductor Charles Hazlewood who asks us what JS Bach and The Prodigy have in common. As he outlines the connectivity between the father of the High Baroque and this quartet of techno terrorists, Charles reveals the story behind his own success in building and connecting audiences for very different kinds of music.

Celebrated author Ahdaf Soueif also lends her support to International Translation Day, discussing her particular blend of the personal with the political, fiction and history with Amanda Hopkinson in the evening.

I understand, from Time's Flow Stemmed's twitter feed, that Belgravia Books (59 Ebury Street, London, SW1W 0NZ) has "an impressive selection of translated European fiction."

Good to know – the website (belgraviabooks.com), however, has yet to rise from its slumbers.

The third annual World Literature Weekend is almost here. From Friday 17 to Sunday 19 June, esteemed writers and translators from across the world are coming to Bloomsbury to participate in what is sure to be a brilliant festival.

Some events are already sold out and some of them only have a few tickets left. So if you want to see Cees Nooteboom in conversation with A.S. Byatt, Manuel Rivas’ talk on his new novel Books Burn Badly, Dutch poet Laureate Ramsey Nasr in conversation with Ruth Padel, leading Catalonian authors discussing their language and history, Javier Cercas discussing his books, a thrilling live translation with Shaun Whiteside, Mike Mitchell, Daniel Kehlmann and Daniel Hahn... among other events and talks, then book your tickets now.

On the 4th of May, at the ICA in London, in a talk entitled Screening Thought - The Media's Philosophical Problem, Slavoj Žižek and RSB interviewee Paul A. Taylor (author of Žižek and The Media) explore the difficulty of conveying philosophical ideas within today's media:

Increasingly, intelligence is only tolerated in pre-approved and reassuringly non-challenging forms - deprecatory humour (Stephen Fry), decaffeinated reasoning (Alain de Botton), or suspiciously grand narratives (Simon Schama). Žižek himself is constantly pigeonholed by such media clichés as 'the Elvis of cultural theory' and 'the Marx Brother'. This event sets out to question 'what can be done?' by serious thought in a culture of sound bites. Is the best that media philosophers can hope for to 'Try again, fail again, fail better'?

The South London Gallery (in collaboration with the French Institute and Tate Modern) present Neighbours: Marguerite Duras in the World of Images, curated by Pascale Cassagnau:


Marguerite Duras's films are 'films of voices' in which one 'reads the film and sees the book'. Duras shares with contemporary artists this way of looking at cinematic writing as a 'kaleidoscope space'.

This series of screenings explores the links between Duras's work and contemporary film-making.

27 October, 7pm, £5/£3 conc
David Lamelas, Interview with Marguerite Duras, 1970, 5’13’’
Philippe Terrier-Hermann, La Dérive, 2009, 61’ (followed by a discussion with Philippe Terrier-Hermann)

3 November, 7pm, £5/£3 conc Florence Pezon, I Would Prefer Not To, 1998, 12’18’’
Marguerite Duras, Nathalie Granger, 1981, 85’

I should say, of course, that my paymasters at Quercus publish Duras's excellent Wartime Notebooks: "retrieved from the papers she left at her death... Wartime Notebooks consists of four notebooks written between 1943 and 1949 followed by ten previously unpublished short stories and autobiographical texts".

On the 31st of March, the Itchy Chin Club will be discussing Capitalist Realism by recent RSB interviewee Mark Fisher: Candid Arts Trust Cafe, 3 Torrens St, London, EC1V 1NQ, 6:30pm for a 7pm start.