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Posted By P & L Blog

This is big news in the publishing world: Amazon has announced it is creating a new imprint, AmazonCrossing, to produce English translations of foreign language works.  This could be huge.

Only 3% of the books published in the US are translated into English from other languages.  Amazon's initiative opens the US market to authors whose works are rarely, if ever, available to readers who don't speak their language.  The books will be available on Amazon's site and on Kindle.  

What effect, if any, will the new imprint have? Will other publishers follow Amazon's lead? Will Americans finally embrace foreign literature? Will translators be fairly compensated for their work?

Posted By P & L Blog


The Frist is offering free admission today in honor of International Museum Day. If you haven't seen the Chihuly exhibit yet, I urge you to go today.  I've seen it and to quote a Nashville blogger, the exhibit "is brief but gorgeous, like walking into a midnight garden of glowing Alice in Wonderland flowers."  I couldn't agree more. 

Posted By P & L Blog

Translations Of Camilo Jose Cela
Today is the birthday of three Spanish intellectuals: Salvador Dalí, Camilo José Cela, and Francisco Umbral. While everyone is familiar with Dalí's work, Cela and Umbral are not as well known in English-speaking circles.

Cela won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1989, and several of his books were made into films.  His novel, "The Family of Pascual Duarte" (La Familia de Pascual Duarte) is said to be the most widely read book in Spain after "Don Quixote".   The book was banned in Spain for several years, even though Cela had briefly worked for the government as a censor. His writings are widely available in English and other languages.

Umbral was one of the most prolific Spanish writers in the second part of the 20th century, writing 80 books along with a regular newspaper column. He was a critic of the left, an unpopular position to take in post-Franco intellectual circles.  Like Dalí, he enjoyed the high profile he achieved from his work and he was ubiquitous at social events in Madrid.  My guess is that he will remain unknown in the US; Amazon lists many of his works, but no English translations. For literature to persist in our memories, it has to be accessible first.


Image by frengo2 under Creative Commons license.


Posted By P & L Blog

South Nashville, home to many immigrants, has been greatly affected by the flood. BILINGUAL VOLUNTEERS are needed to help out at a disaster relief center. The location will be announced by Metro and FEMA later today, but please go ahead and sign up at Hands on Nashville's website TODAY. Please indicate what other languages you speak. Especially encourage those who speak SPANISH, ARABIC and KURDISH to sign up.

If you don't speak another language, your help is still needed.





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