Friday, July 4, 2014

A bullet-point post

I am finding myself with many posts I'd like to write, but no time in which to write them (right now). So instead: a bullet-point update and random issues post.

WITMonth stuff:

  • August is coming! If you haven't already heard (and who are we kidding, if you're reading this post, you've heard...), August is Women in Translation Month here on the blog, on your blog, on your phone, in your favorite reading nook... wherever!
  • One of the ideas we had for WITMonth was guest posts and blog exchanges... Since I'm entirely inexperienced in this "hosting" thing, I'm really not sure if this is going to happen/if there's an interest - I'd love to get feedback from you guys on the matter.
  • I know I keep saying this, but spread the word! I think it'll be really amazing to see a WITMonth that spans the spectrum of the literary community, from lit-in-translation bloggers to YA to mystery to sci-fi... If you know someone who might appreciate just looking into the matter... I give you my blessing to bug them about this.
Other stuff:
  •  I have a lot of thoughts about Ruth Graham's "young adults should only be read by young adults" thing, and after having read many response pieces (most of which, I felt, completely missed the point), I want to respond even more virulently. The original article is so absurd for so many reasons, but so are many responses that claim to "set the record straight". For me, there are so many levels on which I just do not agree with the idea that books ought to be dismissed by who they are written for (or often, who they are marketed for). The age of the protagonist has nothing to do with the age of the reader - goodness, can't adults read To Kill a Mockingbird? Or should children not read books like The Count of Monte Cristo, because all the characters are adults? And what should the elderly do? Obviously reading "middle-aged" books is out, they're 30-40 years removed from that, it's just embarrassing! They can only read books about old people, because that's how literature works. There are so many issues with arguments about age-designations as "genres" that I find myself truly... angry, I suppose. As soon as I have the time, I'd like to carefully explain why I don't think that any of this really matters.
  • I also had a fairly unpleasant response to the "What happened to literary blogging?" piece by Mark Thwaite from a couple weeks ago - like Graham's piece from above, there's a level of utter disconnect. It's a  piece that doesn't both to do its research, and defines a huge field very, very narrowly. Literary blogging is, for Thwaite, his sort of blogging, about the sorts of books that he reads. He describes a yearning for long-form criticism, but his definition of criticism is... bad. Coming from a community where I can pointed to literally hundreds of fantastic literary blogs (in every genre, yes, even in SFF and young adult!), this sort of article comes off as even more pretentious than his actual blog (which I follow) ever did. The whole piece left a very bad taste in my mouth, and I think that it deserves a more careful and explicit response piece.
  • Hebrew Book Week this year resulted in a lot of super amazing things (many related to the Women in Translation project) - I'm not sure I'll have time to get into all of them, but I had some fascinating one-on-one conversations with the heads of four different Israeli publishing houses while browsing for books, and also some really eye-opening discussions with booksellers and translators. Like every year, the experience was truly wonderful. But I think it might have been surpassed this year by the level of discourse and the fact that I actually was able to reach some of the publishers. Plus, they handed out free chocolate slabs. So...

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited for Women in Translation month! I have some options for it, and I'm trying to figure out which one or two I'm going to be reading.


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