Start a Revolution: A Visit to Grandma’s Turns Political in Orhan Pamuk’s Newly Translated Second Novel
Good writing, according to the forecast of many a critic these days, is headed the way of the dinosaurs. Literary types love an ominous portent, and tend to assume that if books are to be buried, they’ll be buried right alongside them. Critical fingers are pointed at the best-seller lists, which have long been dominated by 50 shades of fluff, as a sign that good taste is, indeed, a thing of the past.
Still, it’s difficult to ignore the growing catalog of international works translated into English—currently the closest approximation American readers have to a popular avant-garde. You can’t sneeze without another “lost” work by the late Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño coming out, Lydia Davis seems hell-bent on translating as many French classics as possible, and for every book by James Patterson or Nora Roberts, there’s a Satantango or Day of the Oprichnik. They may not sell like E.L. James, but they certainly seem to provide a necessary balance between high and low. Read More