THAT OTHER WORD | Episode 11 | September 2013 | Will Evans

Hosts Daniel Medin and Scott Esposito return after a summer of reading full of praise for a characteristically broad range of texts. First, they delight over Robert Walser’s A Schoolboy’s Diary and Other Stories, a newly-translated collection which features several original illustrations by Walser’s brother, and a long-awaited selected poems in English from an under-appreciated Italian poet, Patrizia Cavalli’s My Poems Won’t Change the World, translated by “a host of luminaries.” Jáchym Topol’s The Devil’s Workshop provides a dose of clever Eastern European gallows humor, and Giocomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone proves, at over 2500 pages, to be a brilliant addition to one’s nightstand. Finally, the hosts express their deep admiration and gratitude for a house favorite, László Krasznahorkai’s Seiobo There Below, which represents a culmination of thirty years of the author’s work.

In the second half of the episode, Scott Esposito speaks to Will Evans, publisher and founder of Deep Vellum Press in Dallas, Texas. Their lively conversation opens with the story of how Deep Vellum got its “cheeky and irreverent” name and a discussion of Texas’ thriving literary and cultural scene. Evans speaks in detail about his decision to found a press, his close collaboration with Chad Post of Open Letter Books, and the historical, financial, and intellectual considerations in becoming a publisher of literature in translation. After waxing enthusiastic about his favorite presses and authors, Evans lays out Deep Vellum’s inaugural catalogue. Reflecting his profound commitment to equal gender representation among his authors, Evans introduces Anne Garréta, the politically radical Oulipian whose novel Sphinx is a genderless love story; Sergio Pitol, the great Mexican novelist whose Trilogy of Memory Deep Vellum will bring into English; Mikhail Shishkin, who is of particular interest to Evans due to his background in Russian, and whose short stories should appeal to anyone who loved Maidenhair; and Carmen Boullosa, another Mexican writer whose novel Texas supports Evan’s abiding wish to explore Texas’ relationship with its southern neighbor.


INTRO: Daniel Medin and Scott Esposito

00:55 Robert Walser’s A Schoolboy’s Diary and Other Stories
2:32 Patrizia Cavalli’s My Poems Won’t Change the World: Selected Poems
3:40 Jáchym Topol’s The Devil’s Workshop
6:47 Giocomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone
9:27 László Krasznahorkai’s Seiobo There Below

FEATURE: Scott Esposito interviews Will Evans

12:47 How Deep Vellum got its name; the Texas literary scene
19:52 Founding Deep Vellum
34:24 Will Evans’ favorite presses and authors
40:10 Anne Garétta and Sphinx
45:58 Sergio Pitol and The Trilogy of Memory
51:10 Mikhail Shishkin and his short stories
56:38 Carmen Boullosa and Texas

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