Transnational Literature


Transnational Literature

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Volume 10, Issue 2
May 2018

Letter from the Editor

Welcome to the May 2018 issue of Transnational Literature. Once again, bringing this issue together has been a wonderful process of discovering links and resonances among the disparate contributions of widely-scattered writers and scholars – I counted 22 countries among the current residences of our contributors, on every continent except Antarctica.

A predominant theme in this issue is translation, both literal – between languages – and the translation the self undergoes when borders are crossed. The Zambian-born, UK-based poet Kayo Chingonyi writes in his interview in this issue, ‘Thinking about the margins is to think about subjectivity, the very specific things which cannot be generalised.’ Those specific things are the stuff of literature, and the best literary scholarship is undertaken with that in mind.

We are very fortunate to be able to include a beautifully curated special feature titled ‘Voices from the Margins’. The editors, Lioba Schreyer, of Ruhr-University Bochum, and Lena Mattheis from the University of Duisburg-Essen, have drawn together articles, interviews and poetry on themes of indigeneity, climate change, orality and, above all, marginality.

Among the articles in this special feature is Lotta Schneidemesser’s discussion of the challenges facing a German translator of Samoan poetry written in English. Translation also emerges as a key element in much of the poetry section, edited magnificently as always by Alison Flett. Alison brings us two special features: eminent Australian poet Lisa Gorton is featured in this issue, with her translations from the French poet Rimbaud; and the guest curator is French avant-garde poet Marie de Quatrebarbes, who has selected some contemporary French poetry given both in the original French and in translation. Among the riches of the general poetry section this month, we have two poems by Peter Bakowski, written in English and translated into German and French respectively, with a note on the translation process.

And of course there is as usual a small section, edited by Reza Haque, devoted to translation, with an English rendering of two of Friedrick Rückert’s German ghazals looking back to the fourteenth-century Persian poet Hafiz. As with all the other translations in this issue, the original text is included along with the translation, and as one of these poems is an English translation of a German translation from Persian, the poem is given in all three languages.

The importance of historical awareness – of acknowledging and understanding the past – is a recurrent preoccupation among the peer-reviewed articles in this issue. Apart from Rohini Shukla’s fascinating examination of the devotional songs of the pastoral region of Maharashtra, the articles mostly deal with canonical works or modern classics of post-colonial fiction in English, and identity, trauma, marginality and embodiment are among the themes explored.

The five short stories in this issue, expertly edited by Ruth Starke, are set in India, Japan, Kuwait and the US, ranging from the whimsical charm of Meredith Stephens’ ‘Cherry Blossom Cycling’ to Leyla Savsar’s deeply moving ‘Almost Home’, a chronicle of a family’s struggle with grief and search for a place to call home.

Twenty-two book reviews, half of which deal with fiction, poetry and other creative writing, and half with works of history, theory and criticism, round out this rich and varied issue of Transnational Literature.

With the May issue of Transnational Literature my time as general editor of the journal ends. I have been in this honorary position since 2008, when I took on the editorship of a journal then known as Quodlibet. It has been an exciting time – building up the journal, expanding its team of editors and extending its reach to encompass writers, scholars and readers from all over the world. It has been a great privilege working with such a dedicated group of editors and with over 600 authors, and I would like to thank all my editorial colleagues, past and present, for their contributions to the journal’s success, as well as the members of the Advisory and Editorial Boards for their invaluable support over the ten years of TNL’s history. It is time for me to step aside to pursue other consuming interests, but I will continue to take an active interest in the wellbeing of the journal. We hope to announce plans for the future over the coming weeks.

Gillian Dooley, General Editor

Contributors to May 2018 Issue

Special feature: 'Voices from the Margins', Guest Editors Lioba Schreyer and Lena Mattheis
  Lioba Schreyer and Lena Mattheis Listening to the Margins: An Introduction
  Peter H. Marsden Oral Goes Viral - Reversing the Print Revolution
  Emma Scanlan Jamaica Osorio's Indigenous Poetics as a Challenge to Global Hybridity
  Ricarda de Haas 'Both feared and loved, an enigma to most': Zimbabwean Spoken Word and Video Poetry between Radicalisation and Disillusionment
  Eve Nabulya A Poetics of Climate Change: Apocalyptic Rhetoric in Selected Poems from East Africa
  Marvin Reimann ‘This is me, anonymous, water’s soliloquy’: The River’s Voice as a Coalescence of Humankind and Nature in Alice Oswald’s Dart
  Lotta Schneidemesser Finding a 'German' Voice for Courtney Sina Meredith's, Brown Girls in Bright Red Lipstick
  Lioba Schreyer Interview with Kayo Chingonyi, Poet and Creative Facilitator
  Kayo Chingonyi Four poems: Kenta, Alternate Take, A Proud Blemish, Interior with Ceiling Fan
Complete Special Feature: 'Voices from the Margins' in one file (for ease of downloading)
  Peer-reviewed articles (general)  
  Ruaa Al-Doori and Yousef Awad Space, Transformation and Identity in E. M. Forster's A Passage to India and Ahdaf Soueif's The Map of Love
  Mónica Fernández Jiménez The Struggle for Identity and the Need for Documenting History in Junot Díaz’s, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  Sarah O'Brien Translating Trauma in Kaled Hosseini's, The Kite Runner 
  Quratulain Shirazi Revisiting history and reconstructing new forms of belonging and identity in Kamila Shamsie’s, Salt and Saffron
  Rohini Shukla Authorship and Generative Embodiment in Bahinai's Songs
  Matthew Lloyd Spencer The Power of Nothing(s): Parahumanity and Erasure in Indra Sinha’s, Animal’s People
  Philip Sulter ‘Trans-Cultural Exchange’: Reframing Historical Metanarratives in Ishtiyaq Shukri’s, The Silent Minaret
  Silvia Tellini Identity and Nation in Kazuo Ishiguro’s, An Artist of the Floating World
Complete peer-reviewed articles May 2018 in one file (for downloading or printing)
(editor Alison Flett)
  Featured Poet  
  Lisa Gorton On translating Rimbaud's 'Villes' / Magic Lantern Slides
    Rimbaud's Cities I / Magic Lantern Slides
    Rimbaud's Cities II / Magic Lantern Slides
  French Poetry Feature
  Marie de Quatrebarbes French Poetry: An Introduction by Marie de Quatrebarbes
  Marie de Quatrebarbes 33 1/2 Flowers
  Stéphane Bouquet Translating Paul Blackburn
  Maël Guesdon The beginnings
  Dorothée Volut Zorra
  Poetry General  
  Faiza Anum Lullabying Lahore
  Peter Bakowski The Courage Season
  Mark Anthony Cayanan from SENTENCE
  Anne Elvey she says and A climate of morality meets Melbourne winter
  Ella Jeffrey Huangshan sonnet and scences from last night in guangzhou
  Chris Mooney-Singh Chichester and the Bhagavad Gita
  Bibhu Padhi The night is not far
  Carolina Skibinski scrollings through a mirror
  Barnaby Smith To consider Chelsea Manning at Guangzhou airport
  Poetry in Translation
(Editor: Md Rezaul Haque)
  Two Poems by Friedrich Rückert translated by Alex McKeown
Complete poetry May 2018 (for ease of downloading)
  Fiction and life-writing
(Editor: Ruth Starke)
  Michael Armstrong Saloon with a View

Kuwait resident Michael Armstrong no longer has a psychological breakdown when he visits his local barbershop, but it was an uncomfortable learning curve.

  Suzanne Kamata Mystery Dinner

I wrote this essay in part as a way to cheer myself up. I was feeling melancholy about losing a job and anxious about the future. It's about food and finding new friends in a foreign country, but also about staying open to possibilities.

  Leyla Savsar Almost Home

Almost Home embodies the outsider’s search for belonging amidst the foreign and the familiar. Written from several vantage points of a narrator who seeks to find a sense of calm in the wake of turbulence and a center from the margins at best, Almost Home paints a bittersweet portrait of grief and loss, of comings and goings, of a shared nostalgia that propels us backwards and forwards, around and back home again. Just almost.

  Murzban F. Shroff Mumbai in Focus

Two stories: 'Mental about Mumbai' and 'The Gypsies of Grant Road'.

  Meredith Stephens Cherry Blossom Cycling

As a cyclist from South Australia, known as the driest state in the driest continent, I had never entertained the notion of cycling in the rain. In Japan, where rain was abundant, I followed the dangerous practice of sheltering myself with an umbrella when cycling in the rain, until the day I was stopped by a young policeman on his motorbike.

Complete fiction and life writing May 2018 (for ease of downloading)
  Book reviews: Fiction, poetry, life-writing  
  Annette Couch Star Struck by David McCooey
  Sebastian Galbo Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadwai, translated by Jonathan Wright
  Alice Gorman The West-Eastern Divan of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated from the German by Robert Martin.
  Melinda Graefe Double Glaze by Steve Brock
  Kay Hart Zorami A Redemption Song by Malsawmi Jacob
  Debasish Lahiri A Personal History of Vision by Luke Fisher
  John Miles Between the Kindling and the Blaze: Reflections on the Concept of Mana by Ben Brown
  Wendy Jones Nakanishi The Life to Come by Michelle de Krester
  Jennifer Osborn The Fabulous Feminist: a Suniti Namjoshi Reader
  Jennifer Osborn Plane Tree Drive by Lynette Washington
  Nishi Pulugurtha Across the Seven Seas by Satendra Nandan
Complete book reviews: fiction, poetry and life-writing May 2018 (for ease of downloading)
  Book reviews: History, Theory and Criticism  
  Ajay K Chaubey Explorations in Critical Humanities: A Collection of Essays edited by Sreenath Muraleedhara K. & Devi K.
  Konstantina Georganta Irish Poets and Modern Greece: Heaney, Mahon, Cavafy, Seferis by Joanna Kruczkowska
  Robyn Greaves From the Edges of Empire: Convict Women from Beyond the British Isles edited by Lucy Frost and Colette McAlpine
  Saba Idris Revisiting India's Partition: New Essays on Memory, Culture, and Politics edited by Amritjit Singh, Nalini Iyer, and Rahul K. Gairola
  Suzanne Kamata Re-Orienting China: Travel Writing and Cross-Cultural Understanding by Leilei Chen
  Alana Kosklin Return Narratives by Theodora D. Patrona
  Dieter Riemenschneider A Gesture of Reconciliation: Partnership Studies in Australian Literature by Antonella Riem
  Lekha Roy Border Crossings edited by Diana Glenn and Graham Tulluch
  Paul Sharrad Teaching Australian and New Zealand Literature edited by Nicholas Birns, Nicole Moore and Sarah Shieff
  Umme Salma East-West Literary Imagination: Cultural Exchange from Yeats to Morrison by Yoshinobu Hakutani
  Jean-Francois Vernay The Hatred of Literature by William Marx, translated by Nicholas Elliot
Complete Book reviews: history, theory and criticism (for ease of downloading)
  Contributors to May 2018 Issue  





ISSN 1836-4845




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