To say that it's been a bit crazy around here since Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature last Thursday is a vast understatement. We were giddy, of course. Beside ourselves. There's nothing quite like the Nobel Prize to remind you — to reassure you — that what you do on daily basis on behalf of all of these brilliant writers and poets matters tremendously, and in turn that a great many people find enormous value in literature.
There were requests for comments and interviews, and there were phone calls and emergency meetings as we scrambled to reprint copies of The Great Enigma (it's flattering and heartwarming, by the way, to know that so many people are so anxious to get their hands on his poetry), but we also received an incredible number of phone calls and emails (and even some champagne!) congratulating us. Now, we're very proud of having published Tomas as far back as the 1960s, and to publish the only complete collection of all of his writing available in English, but all of the credit and congratulations should go to two people. First, to translator Robin Fulton for his years of dedication to The Great Enigma. And of course to Tomas Tranströmer himself, who is so eminently deserving of this honor. So, from across the ocean and six time zones, we'd like to raise our glasses and offer this simple toast: "Congratulations, you deserve this."
And I couldn't resist including this picture, a screengrab from a Swedish newspaper's site. According to a friend in Sweden:
They opened their door to a swarm of journalists who each year come to their place (hoping that he'll win) and at first they were taking pictures of just Tomas, but then his Monika kneeled down next to him and he put his arm around her, and everyone continued to take pictures like crazy.
ND editor Michael Barron interviewed Elaine Lustig for Bomb's blog. Read it here.
May 2013 News from New Directions
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Rebecca Ariel Porte, in a beautiful essay written for the Los Angeles Review of Books, dicusses Susan Howe's Sorting Facts: Nineteen Ways of Looking at Marker, addressing Chris Marker's films, as well. Definitely worth a read — here.
Writing for Bookslut, Christopher Merkel reviews the 65th anniversary edition of the classic modernist text. Read it here.