Presenting: The 2015 Erasure
Friends and colleagues of Two Lines Press!
Back in fall of last year, we were thinking of ways to let our subscribers know that they had chosen to support a press that champions really exceptional, forward-looking, just plain incredible translations. We wanted to make a beautiful, fascinating gift to give to each of you.
At right about the same time, we were in the middle of planning this Edouard Levé event with translators Lorin Stein and Jan Stein.
At some point it hit us: Levé was exactly the kind of author to get this point across. The answer was simple: let’s do something with Levé, involving the man who recommended that he be translated, and who, in fact, has translated the most of him into English: Jan Steyn.
Unfortunately, things turned out to not be so simple. Because of copyright difficulties, working with Levé’s texts was out. But we still had Jan.
And the fact is, that Jan also perfectly embodied our hopes for this project. He is a fierce champion of innovative writing, he knows a hell of a lot about world literature, and he’s a beautifully talented translator and prose stylist.
So—the answer was simple: give Jan free reign to manipulate a (public domain) text as he saw fit. The only requirement was that translate be involved.
What he came up with is an following erasure that we are in the penultimate stages of unveiling to you all (see image above).
When we are finished printing it in its 3 colors it will be called “Saint-Beuve Over a Crackling Phone Line” and it will be an erasure/translation from French, into Afrikaans, into English.