We think of books being lost over time, as they fall out of popular taste or academic fashion. We think, in other words, of the intervention of history. But history is a by-product of geography. The fate of a book, and by extension of a literary oeuvre, depends to an alarming extent on where it is published, with books emanating from New York and London dominating the global literary scene. That’s one reason why writers and readers owe an endless debt to translators. Take the case of Borges, who might have been lost to English-speaking readers if not for a French translation that introduced his work to Europe, and thence to the anglophone world.
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'Amis clearly belongs to the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do school of pedagogy. More or less everything he says is demonstrably contradicted by elements of his own work, be they here or elsewhere.'
'The bar is set high at the outset, and readers are primed to wonder if Mikhail can make his case.'
Does Alan Mikhail's new life of the Sultan Selim I really overturn 'shibboleths that have held sway for a millennium'? Caroline Finkel investigates.
'Shopkeepers even cut out their names from shop paper bags and pasted them onto their books’ endpapers to feign wealth and gain cultural capital, as seen in a book owned by William Straw, a grocer.'
@laurenohagan91 on the Edwardian bookplate fashion.