Does Literature Still Have the Power to Irritate Powers-that-be?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In today’s lead story Daniel Kalder writes about Russia’s Ad Marginem Press, a “underground” publisher of controversial and politically provocative works of fiction and nonfiction. Ad Marginem publisher Alexander Ivanov says the press may have something of an advantage in attracting an audience, in so far as “literature [in Russia] may still -– as it did in …

Publishing Poetry? Market to Australians!

In Global Trade Talk by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson According to a survey conducted by the Australia Council for the Arts, 84% of Australians are avid readers of literature and one in five survey respondents read poetry. The results also showed that 15-24 year-olds are the most engaged in creating art online, whether that is writing, visual arts, theater or music. The Australia Council even made …

Does Turning Classics into Video Games Indoctrinate Readers?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka There’s a trend going on: We’re seeing more and more classics being turned into video games. Today’s lead story describes how Nintendo is planning to release 100 French language classics for their Nintendo DS handheld game machine (something they’ve already done in Japan and the UK). Earlier this month we saw the release of a video game …

French Classics à la Nintendo (With a Little Help from Gallimard)

In Europe by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije PARIS: On March 5th, Nintendo France will release its 100 Classic Book Collection in a deal with publisher Gallimard, becoming the third country after Japan in 2007 and the UK in 2008 to make literary classics available to read on its DS portable games consoles. Gallimard’s 25,000 title-strong backlist catalog includes a great majority of France’s best …

What Book Would You Give North Koreans to Read?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Today’s lead story describes literary life in North Korea, where the authoritarian government restricts access to most books to very few elite in Pyongyang. While there are some Western books available, these are few and far between. “At the end of the day,” says Demick, “[North Korean] literature is totally subservient to propaganda, which is there to …

Frogs in a Well: Literary Life in North Korea

In Growth Markets by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka North Korea is without a doubt among the most mysterious of countries, which begs the question: What kind of literary life is there in North Korea? The answer — according to two new books about the country, Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick (Spiegel & Grau) and The Cleanest Race by B.R. Myers (Melville House) — is nothing …

Review: Don DeLillo’s Point Omega

In Book Review by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Starting with 2002’s Cosmopolis about the 2000 Internet-stock-bubble burst, Don DeLillo has used his considerable skills as a fiction writer to dwell on current events. His previous novel, 2007’s Falling Man, concerned 9/11, and his latest, Point Omega, looks at the recent war in Iraq. Richard Elster, a 73-year-old academic who served as a war strategist, has …

Should All Nobel Prize Winners Be Translated?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka If the Nobel Prize is the most prestigious literary prize in the world, one that virtually guarantees a degree of literary celebrity throughout the author’s lifetime, doesn’t it go without saying that all the authors works should be translated, at the very least, into English? As discussed here before, English is for many editors and publishers, the …

The “Lost” Books of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

In Growth Markets by Daniel Kalder

By Daniel Kalder When Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn died at aged 89 in August 2008, his reputation had been in flux for a long time. Even so, while most obituaries acknowledged the power and significance of The Gulag Archipelago and his novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, he was nevertheless dogged to the grave by accusations of anti-Semitism, reactionary …