:: Lee Rourke Homepage ::

""A story assembled from everyday objects, unassumingly and quietly, that stuns and horrifies by increments...The Canal may look, at first glance, like a love story, but it harnesses the power of parable." John Wray, author of Lowboy.

Search This Blog

Friday, 28 March 2008

In Translation . . .

The importance of an independent publisher such as Marion Boyars in today’s homogenised publishing climate cannot be stressed enough. For instance, just how can their Literature in translation list be ignored? Why aren’t there huge window displays, table displays, face outs and end of row displays of Marion Boyars’ titles in high street bookstores across the land? What is it, exactly, that we are scared of? Why does Literature of this quality turn our stomachs? Why, for instance, are we force fed the tripe displayed in its place? The dross thought to constitute readable Literature these days?

Is it because we are so far out of sync with ‘what/why Literature is’ today that it is, in fact, just like a foreign language to us? Have we seriously sunk this low?

I first heard of Marion Boyars many years ago when I read their excellent translation of Georges Bataille’s ‘Blue of Noon’. I soon realised that here – under our very noses – we had a publisher that takes its translations seriously. I was quite young when I first read Georges Bataille – up until that point my tastes had been largely American (as most teenagers’ tastes are) – and his writing hit me like a thunderclap. I was instantly hooked. I didn’t really understand what his books were about then; I just knew they were different. I just knew that I had to read more of them – and more importantly, I realised that there were publishers out there who could take me away from that well-worn path I was, up until then, happily ambling along.

Without Marion Boyars I wouldn’t have found Calder Books, or Peter Owen, Alma Books, Herperus Press, and Deldalus Press. Then, of course, there is my own inimitable publisher Social Disease.

This very well may sound like a rant – it is, I suppose – but what else have we got? Where else should we turn to? It's a real testament to the passion and belief of those involved in independent publishing that such publishers still exist.

Blog Archive


2014 (1) 3:AM Magazine (1) 3AM Magazine (1) 4th Estate (1) aircraft (1) Amber (1) Andrew Gallix (2) Ann Quin (2) Art (1) Ben Myers (2) Book covers (1) Book Launch (2) Booker Prize (1) Bookforum (1) Boredom (1) Bram van Velde (1) Brighton (1) Broadway Books (1) Captain Beefheart (1) Carcanet Press (2) Central Station Design (1) Chris Killen (1) Competition (1) Dalkey Archive (4) Dante (1) Death (1) Dumitru Tsepeneag (1) Ellis Sharp (1) Events (1) Everyday Publishing (1) Evie Wyld (2) Gabriel Josipovici (5) Gavin James Bower (1) Georges Bataille (1) Gwendoline Riley (1) Hans Fallada (1) Harper Collins. (1) Hendrik Wittkopf (1) HP Tinker (1) Hubert Selby Jr (1) INS (1) Interviews (1) Jacques Roubaud (1) JD Salinger (1) Jean-Philippe Toussaint (4) JG Ballard (1) Jim Carroll (1) Joe Stretch (1) Jon McGregor (2) Jonathan Lethem (1) Karen Jackson (1) Kevin Cummins (1) Leda and the Swan (1) Light Boxes (1) List (2) Litro (1) LRB (1) Lydie Salvayre (2) Manchester United (1) Manifestos (1) Marion Boyars (1) Martin Heidegger (1) Melville House (11) Modernism (1) Myth (1) New Statesman (1) New Stuff (1) New York Times (1) Nick Cave (1) Noah Cicero (1) Not The Booker Prize (1) Novel (1) Olivier Pauvert (1) On Boredom (1) Pylons (2) Readings (2) Regent's Canal (2) Reviews/Criticism Archives (9) RIP (1) Samuel Beckett (3) Shane Jones (1) Sophie Lewis (1) Steve Finbow (2) Steve Mitchelmore (2) Stewart Home (1) Stuart Evers (1) Swans (1) Tao Lin (3) The Big Green Bookshop (1) The Canal (15) The Divine Comedy (1) The Failure Six (1) The Guardian (2) The Independent (6) The Quarterly Conversation (1) This Space (1) To Hell With Publishing (2) Tom McCarthy (3) Tony O'Neill (2) vapour trails (1) Vulgar Things (1) Yale University Press (1) Yeats (1) Zachary German (1)