Great news: we’ve just gone live with the stunning Fall 2016 issue of Asymptote, loaded with knockout punches from literary heavyweights the world over! Check out our video trailer for a quick rundown of the fantastic work you’ll find inside, including our interview with Man Booker winner Lázsló Kraznahorkai on why he believes writers—himself included—to be “simple little charlatans,” and a new essay by Anita Raja, controversially unmasked just a few weeks ago as the author behind Elena Ferrante’s novels. Raja reflects on the “intense” experiences translating the likes of Christa Wolf and Ingeborg Bachmann, and describes the “friction” arising when “the text of the other jostles the language of the translator.” Nobel winner Halldór Laxness and Chinese midcentury master Su Qing contribute stories getting straight to the heart of unspoken (or all-too-cavalierly spoken) truths between us and the ones we love, and you won’t want to miss an open letter by the legendary Stefan Zweig, written at the outbreak of World War I but equally relevant today.
Along with a rapturous freeform treatise in praise of the wandering life by Guillermo Fadanelli, other highlights in this issue are poems by Marie-Célie Agnant and Jan Dammu, a tragicomic play by Hungarian “artiste maudit” György Spiró, and our first ever Special Feature on Canadian Poetry, presenting a comprehensive range of voices across eight languages to embody the country’s multicultural, multilingual identity.
Please help us share the new issue on Facebook, and, if you feel like it, download our gorgeous Fall 2016 flyer here to show your friends? If you’re a Twitter user, feel free to use the following sample tweet:
.@asymptotejrnl’s blockbuster Fall issue NOW LIVE feat. new work by Krasznahorkai, Laxness, Zweig, and Anita Raja! http://asymptotejournal.com
As a teaser, here is the first of “Four Cutouts” by Claude Ber, taken from his ambitious and contradictory collection La mort n’est jamais comme (“Death is never like”). As in that volume, translator Elodie Olson-Coons writes, Ber’s “Four Cutouts” are “preoccupied with absence and subtraction, fragmentation and incompleteness.” It is a “sense of absence,” she says, that conjures “rich and almost endless possibilities.”
Little, minuscule indecision of existing. Afraid of the spectacle of its own destruction. In the silent ark of vanished loved ones, an absent stone. And a magnolia. The back of muteness. In its murmur or its loquacity. Simultaneously cheek by foul. In the overstep of the mouth. Like a tilt from the edge. The arc of an inadmissible space. A trapdoor in the forehead. Where the village idiot’s stories and the sparrows come from. The socratic gadfly of Athens. Vigilance. A jumbled buffoonery at the turn of the millennium. Like snails spilled through the wires of a rusty salad spinner, the juice of language.
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—Lee Yew Leong, Editor-in-Chief