Reimagining the Classics: A Conversation with Publisher Ilan Stavans, by Jenna Tang

Interviews Since 2015, award-winning Restless Books publisher Ilan Stavans has been immersed in bringing the literary classics to new audiences through Restless Classics. These editions come with introductions by prominent diverse writers from around the world—Jamaica Kincaid for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Lauren Groff for Virginia Woolf’s Night and Day, Boris Fishman for Chekhov: Stories for Our Time, or Francine Prose for Frankenstein—and illustrations by a cadre of international artists like Eko and Keren Katz. They are geared toward young and often underserved audiences through programs like Classics Behind Bars, which brings them to incarcerated readers, and Restless Reads: A Virtual Classics Book Club, offered in conjunction with the New York Public Library. The following electronic conversation took place in April 2021. Jenna Tang: For starters, could you define what a literary classic means for you? Ilan Stavans: A literary classic is a book that knows how to be patient, a book with all the time on its hands, capable of waiting for the right readers to come by. It is also a book that “survives” translation. The classics are always in the process of being retranslated, in part because they are in the public domain but also because language ages, which prompts us to refashion them under a fresh new look. Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, for example, has been rendered into English thirteen times; Kafka’s The... Continue reading at 'World Literature Today'

[ World Literature Today | 2021-05-12 15:41:23 UTC ]
News tagged with: #uncle tom #decades ago #immigrant writers— #feel static #organic expression #lifelong friendship #single word #miserably human #meaning imperfect #constant renewal #tabula rasa #king lear #fluctuates depending #world—jamaica kincaid #books publisher

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