Literary “Ink”: Behind Penguin’s Tattoo Covered Modern Classics

In Guest Contributors & Editorial by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka • Literary “ink” is hip and Penguin has reissued six modern classics with cover art drawn by famous tattoo artists. • Repackaging backlist every couple years requires a leap of the imagination to keep the covers fresh and the customers buying. NEW YORK: The late novelist David Foster Wallace was inked. A writer famous for his footnotes, …

David Foster Wallace Archive to UT Austin

In What's the Buzz by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka It’s probably one of my favorite places on the planet: The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. And it’s just gotten that little bit better, since today it was announced that the Center has acquired the archive of the late David Foster Wallace, author of The Girl with the Curious Hair, Infinite Jest …

Is There an Untranslatable Book?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Today’s lead story describes the process of translating David Foster Wallace’s supremely complicated novel Infinite Jest into German. The translator, Ulrich Blumenbach, had no input from the author himself, but was nevertheless dealing with a book that involved “a massive text, its pages are riddled with acronyms and American pop-culture references, as well as dialects, characters with …

The Mistake on Page 1,032: On Translating Infinite Jest into German

In Digital by Amanda DeMarco

By Amanda DeMarco “The limits of my language are the limits of my world,” Ulrich Blumenbach quotes Wittgenstein as saying in a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung article to describe the challenges and inducements of the six years he spent translating David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (Unendlicher Spass) into German — something he did without input from the author, who refused to speak to …

After Six Years, Germany’s KiWi Cashes In on Infinite Jest

In Europe by Amanda DeMarco

By Amanda DeMarco COLOGNE: It was “not self-evident” that David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest would enter the German literary world, says Helge Malchow, publisher at Cologne-based Kiepenheuer & Witsch (KiWi). Buchmarkt named Malchow Publisher of the Year in 2005, the same year a Welt Online article called him “the Bismarck of German publishing, its lord and savior.” About 50% of …

Is Posthumously Publishing Unfinished Work Fair to the Author?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In April 2011, Little, Brown will publish David Foster Wallace’s unfinished manuscript called The Pale King. An excerpt was published in The New Yorker earlier this year and another appears this week. In answering questions about his March article describing David Foster Wallace’s struggles to finish the novel, journalist D.T. Max was asked what Wallace’s wishes were …