by Evelyn St. Simeon Hampton
Some of my favorite places to hear authors read are online. There’s Penn Sound and Naropa’s archive, where I listen to recordings of talks and readings. I end up at the Poetry Foundation when I’m searching for poets and Goodreads when I’m searching for books and reviews. When I don’t know what else to do, sometimes I read HTML GIANT. My very favorite place to go to listen to interviews with writers is Bookworm. Searching the show’s archives, you will likely find at least one interview with your favorite writer. As for writing prompts, the very best ones I’ve found online have been on poet CAConrad’s (Soma)tic Poetry Exercises. I just discovered poet Joe Massey’s blog, Range, and have been enjoying the images, excerpts, links and recordings found there.
In my cave, I’ve been reading Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert. The translator of my copy is Lydia Davis, one of my favorite fiction writers. I’ve read all of her books, so now, in order to hear more from her, I’m reading books she’s translated. Last summer I read her translation of Proust’s Swann’s Way, which I really recommend. In this interview, Davis says that as a translator she tries to stay very close to what the writer has written, not adding her own embellishments or corrections.
Here is an essay by Davis, “The Architecture of Thought,” on translating Proust.
And here are 4 very short pieces from her most recent book, Varieties of Disturbance, which collects stories from several of her other books.
We’ll be reading more of Davis’s writing in a few weeks in the Open Fiction Workshop, which, by the way, has only a few more open spots!