December 2: Two Voices Salon with Sean Cotter [EVENT]
It will be held on Tuesday, December 2, in the Two Lines Press offices at 582 Market St, Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104. The Salon will start at 6:00 pm and will include snacks and alcoholic beverages. This event is free.
If you are planning to attend, please come prepared to interact with the group. And, if possible, have in mind a recent translation that has interested you, that you might feel comfortable saying a few words about.
Blinding was released in 2013 by Archipelago Books and soon went on to become one of that year’s most talked-about novels-in-translation: it was a runner-up for the Best Translated Book Award and was acclaimed by places like Bookforum (“Nothing can prepare you for the scope and ambition of Blinding“), the Los Angeles Review of Books (“Blinding creates an entire world from dreams, memories, visions, and chimeras”) and even myself at the Kenyon Review (“I first read Blinding months ago, and there are images that I can still recall with complete crispness, indeed that I believe I will be able to recall years from now.”)
Sean Cotter’s translation of the book is nothing less than amazing. Cotter previously won the Best Translated Book Award for his work on Nichita Stănescu’s poetry collection, Wheel with a Single Spoke: and Other Poems, and he has been widely praised for Blinding. Writing in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Bogdan Suceavă, himself a Romanian author with knowledge of Cartarescu’s Romanian prose and poetry, said that
Reading Cotter’s Blinding feels like reading a work originally conceived in English. Many passages of the book are written like a poem, with meter and rhythm, and Cotter matches the quality the Romanian original has.
Indeed, Blinding includes some of the most complex, ornate, and obscure words, sentences, and paragraphs that you will read in a work of fiction. In this Salon, we’ll talk to Cotter about the amazing work he did in bringing this book to an English-language audience.
We will also talk about the bizarre, personal, and spiritual voyage that Cartarescu takes us on in Blinding—itself only the first book of a 1500-page trilogy that took him a decade to write, and was finally completed in 2007. The book encompasses various eras, religions, continents, political systems . . . it is a true postmodern blending of virtually everything under the sun, and it all seems to somehow come back to Cartarescu’s Bucharest, and his country’s experience of Communism after the Second World War.
We look forward to seeing you on December 2! For an idea of what to expect, have a listen to our first Salon, in which we spoke with Ottilie Mulzet, translator of Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s Seiobo There Below.