Thu 02 August 2012
Not on holiday (yet)? Back home already? Take a city break with citybooks and let a host of international authors be your tour guides without even having to pack your bags. Discover the new and freshly translated city portraits from Lublin, Bucharest, Chartres and Turnhout by, amongst others, Andrzej Stasiuk, Witold Szabłowski, Răzvan Radulescu, Marcin Wroński (photo) and Walter van den Broeck. 'So I walked along and looked. Courtyards at a steep angle. Little windows into someone else’s life.' (from: Lublin by Andrzej Stasiuk)
In Me, In The Centre Răzvan Radulescu wanders through Bucharest and describes a typical taxi journey: ‘the unwritten rule is that in the city, in taxis, a seatbelt isn’t required for passengers, and for drivers it is forbidden outright (!), in case he has to protect himself from passengers in the back (!!).’ (online in Romanian and English)
Andrzej Stasiuk wraps up warm against the icy wind in Lublin, and asks himself if he can view the city without looking into the past. ‘Someone’s going to say: yet another piece about the Jews. But that’s not true. I’m writing about us. The ones who remained. About the fact that we have filled the space from which they disappeared.’ (online in Polish, English, Dutch and French)
Witold Szabłowski investigates All the Gateways of Lublin and concludes: ‘for me Lublin is a place where you can be yourself far more fully. And you can eat onion bread. Onion bread is Lublin’s answer to the cult of youth, to being slender, to white teeth, springy buttocks and dental floss.’ (online in Polish, English, Dutch and French)
Marcin Wroński’s citybook is no light-hearted holiday greeting. Through the Postcards from Chartres, carefully preserved in an old chocolate box by the aged Sophie Fasolette, the young nurse Miriam comes to discover a foreign world of Jewish people in hiding, censorship and learning to live with very big secrets. (online in Polish, English, Dutch and French)
Maud Vanhauwaert visited an exhibition in Lublin that inspired a story about the wife of an artist in Stations in Lublin. ‘Some cited the loneliness that crept over her. Others the melancholy and Tymon once called it, in the company of his friends, after quite a few glasses of wine: ‘death’s cunning endeavour’.’ (online in Dutch)
Walter van den Broeck is no stranger to globetrotting, nor as a Migrant in Turnhout, even if it is only pure coincidence that he’s been living there since 1967. Follow his remarkable journey from editorship at Turnhout Ekspres to a valiant attempt leave an indelible mark on the city…(online in Dutch)
Also: you can now discover Arnon Grunberg’s citybook A Reported Offence in Polish translation: Skarga.
Behind the screens of an audiobook recording
Bart Van Loo recently recorded his citybook The Veil of Time and wrote a blog post about his experiences with the ‘pronunciation police’ in the recording studio.
As well as Bart Van Loo, Pascal Verbeken (citybooks Charleroi) Arnon Grunberg (citybooks Lublin) and Maud Vanhauwaert (citybooks Lublin) also recorded their own citybooks in Dutch. Listen to and download the podcasts of Eurowash 2000, a packet boat in the city, A Reported Offence and Stations in Lublin. Chika Unigwe (citybooks Turnhout) personally recorded both the Dutch and English versions of Heart of Darkness.
Students of Drama and Speech at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, Artesis Hogeschool, recorded the Dutch translations of Thomas Gunzig, The Reservation, Caroline Lamarche, Intangible Heritage. A Stay in the Black Country, Davide Longo, Interview No. 6 and Goce Smilevski, The Cathedral and the Circus.
Podcasts in the remaining languages will follow shortly.
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