Spring 2024: Highlights from the Team
Asymptote Journal Blog » Literature
by Lee Yew Leong
1M ago
Aigerim Tazhi’s “Following the Breath of the Earth” is a refreshing reminder of another way of life through Kazakh spirituality—one that treasures the interconnectedness of nature and all of the species in it, where nature stands for truth in an undivided and nonhierarchical ecosystem. The ancestral belief in the gods of the sky (Tengri) and ..read more
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The Tragedy of the Present: Bryan Karetnyk on Translating Yuri Felsen
Asymptote Journal Blog » Literature
by Xiao Yue Shan
2M ago
A perilous question always hangs over the works of exiled writers: travelling amidst the turmoil of history, where is their place? For the Russian novelist and critic Yuri Felsen, who perished in Auschwitz in 1943, the Anglosphere’s answer only recently emerged by way of translator Bryan Karetnyk, who has lifted Felsen’s works from obscurity and ..read more
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Translation Tuesday: “Dymov” by Yuri Serebriansky
Asymptote Journal Blog » Literature
by Lee Yew Leong
3M ago
This Translation Tuesday, a hostile confrontation ensues when an astronaut inadvertently kills a cow—or two—during his Earth-landing. Here is translator Sarah McEleney on Serebriansky’s startling work of imagination: “This short story by Kazakhstani author Yuri Serebriansky reflects upon the indirect costs of space travel. While the story is meant to take place somewhere in Russia, Serebriansky considers it very ..read more
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The Richness of the Fragment: An Interview with Oksana Vasyakina and Elina Alter
Asymptote Journal Blog » Literature
by Bella Creel
4M ago
What does it mean to hold grief—to physically carry your mother’s death with you in daily life?  Oksana Vasyakina’s Wound documents the journey of a queer poet as she delivers her mother’s ashes from Moscow to Siberia. Translated from Russian by Elina Alter, the novel is an auto-fictional exploration of processing grief through language, and ..read more
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Translation Tuesday: “Is That You, Seryozha?” by Mikhail Zemskov
Asymptote Journal Blog » Literature
by Matthew Redman
4M ago
This Translation Tuesday, a short story from Kazakhstani author Mikhail Zemskov, brought into English by Yuliya Gubanova. Alone in his dirty apartment, an oddball takes a creepy enjoyment from cold-calling strangers on his Soviet-era landline. Never speaking, only breathing suggestively into the receiver, he becomes the missing, longed-for person in another family’s domestic drama ..read more
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Our Milestone 50th Issue Has Landed!
Asymptote Journal Blog » Literature
by Lee Yew Leong
5M ago
Living today is a feat of coexistence. In Me | You | Us, our Winter 2024 edition—Asymptote’s landmark fiftieth!—people seek ways to equably share a world of jostling values, languages, and stories. Embracing the rare spotlight in mainstream English media almost never afforded translators, Emily Wilson discusses her groundbreaking translation of Homer and its place in the ..read more
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Blog Editors’ Highlights: Spring 2023
Asymptote Journal Blog » Literature
by Xiao Yue Shan
7M ago
Our Spring 2023 issue is alive. Animated with the wide plethora of voices, lifeforms, and phenomenon from thirty different countries, this selection of world literature is moving, feeling, singing, and changing—wonderfully emblematic of writing’s capacities to transcend the page or the screen. To aid you in your explorations of this multivalent “Vivarium,” our blog editors present ..read more
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The Edge of Understanding: An Interview with Robin Munby
Asymptote Journal Blog » Literature
by Meghan Racklin
7M ago
As Charlie Ng writes in her essay, ‘Translating Whale-Song into Human Speech’, the poetic ‘Song of the Whale-road’ embodies the “primordial unity” of humans and nature in the timeless, ahistorical figure of the whale. Published in Asymptote‘s Spring 2023 issue, ‘Song of the Whale-road’ is a series of experimental excerpts from the novel Oceánica by ..read more
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What’s New with the Crew? (Aug 2023)
Asymptote Journal Blog » Literature
by Lee Yew Leong
7M ago
Editor-at-Large for Palestine Carol Khoury will be the guest editor of a special issue of the Jerusalem Quarterly, titled “Write-Minded: Jerusalem in Literature”; check out her call for submissions here or email her for further details. Newsletter Editor Cody Siler published an essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books about  the impact of the American suspense writer ..read more
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Where Are You Racing To?
Asymptote Journal Blog » Literature
by Meghan Racklin
7M ago
The apocalyptic story of a (fictional) post-epidemic Russia in Yana Vagner’s To the Lake had found an enormous international audience by way of a 2020 adaptation, directed by Pavel Kostomarov and Dmitriy Tyurin and released on Netflix. This positive reception of what audiences called an exceptionally prescient tale perhaps encouraged another English edition of the ..read more
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