Literature in Translation

Current Editor: Stephen Twilley

Spanish Civil Wars

“Is this Barcelona?” The question sets the tone for the final scenes of Sebastià Alzamora’s novel Blood Crime. It comes from the thoughts of a young religious man, a member of the Catholic group ...

The Author with Birds in His Head

Antonio Di Benedetto’s dreamlike, uncategorizable novel Zama was published in English translation for the first time last year, its arrival long awaited by readers ...

The Murder of Theory

Reports of theory’s death have been greatly exaggerated, but new villains keep on attempting its murder. Those who would vanquish abstraction with description, trade jargon for vernacular, and ...

Wild States of Being

A lacquered blue cube and a cat named Labes: these nonhuman characters shed unforgiving light on human frailty in the wrenching new novel by Italian writer Domenico Starnone, Ties, scrupulously ...

Ferrante’s Secret Mirror

Last fall’s noisy dispute around Elena Ferrante’s biographical identity ignited a wealth of contrasting yet instructive reactions. Whether troubled or newly admiring or indifferent to the apparent ...

Soccer for Intellectuals

Baseball has Roger Angell. Boxing has A. J. Liebling. Yet soccer, puzzlingly, has no writer of such caliber, no one who has managed to find in the sport a comparably inexhaustible source of literary ...

Benjamin’s Dream City

Early in The Storyteller, a collection of short pieces that includes fables and parables, diary entries and dream notes, the critic Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) writes of a young girl living and ...

Science and the Wolf

Once upon a time there was Science. Pure of heart, untainted by the kingdom’s societal structures or geopolitical context, Science was simply Science: an apolitical quest for objective truth and beauty. ...

Kafka Transformed

Franz Kafka’s Gregor Samsa has undergone numerous metamorphoses in English: into “a gigantic insect,” “a monstrous vermin,” “a monstrous cockroach,” “some sort of monstrous insect,” and “a monstrous bug” ...