Review: The Same Night Awaits Us All by Hristo Karastoyanov

5 responses to “Review: The Same Night Awaits Us All by Hristo Karastoyanov”

  1. Karastoyanov says:

    Thank you!

  2. It’s a rare pleasure to read such a well-informed review of a book translated from the Bulgarian. Open Letter Books does a great job in promoting literature from Bulgaria – the English-speaking reader would be left in the dark about what’s being published in the rest of the world would it not be for such relatively small presses who push the percentage of translated books published in English to a breathtaking 3%. (Sorry for sounding a bit sarcastic here.)
    Karastoyanov is an interesting author; I have read several of his previous books and this one is on my TBR pile now.
    Geo Milev’s poetry can be read in English here:

  3. Abe says:

    Thank you for the comment. That 3% number is really astonishing when one considers that it’s not even like film where the funding is concentrated in Hollywood; that the National Book Awards now has a Best Translated Book award now puts them on the same level of jingo-myopia (or ethno-centrism, maybe?) with the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. (My own adjective which I’ve half made-up, half stolen from an idle comment made by Harold Bloom–is “gentilist” or “like a gentile”; not in a purely philo-Semitic sense, but in the sense that we of the Chosen people have tended to see ourselves as more cosmopolitan and internationalist than Joe Schmoe–at least the secular part of us–hence the opposite of that is to be parochial, ignorant of difference, “gentilist.”)

    Ironically, my own attitude is partly a reaction to my own perceived failures in this regard. If you read this piece I wrote 7 years ago, ( one of the takeaways from the sappy ending is a move away from narrowness, away from parochialism, stagnation, and death-obsession.

  4. Abe says:

    Thank you for that link.

  5. These “Special Award” categories you mention leave me usually with mixed feelings. There is of course a good intention behind it but to me it sounds always a bit like “The Best and the Rest”… As for the more cosmopolitan and internationalist attitude, I think it is a undisputed fact that the average Jew has indeed a broader view and interest in what’s going on in other parts of the world than Joe Schmoe. The same goes also to some extent for the average readers from smaller nations/languages I think. They cannot afford to ignore the rest of the world; hence also a far bigger percentage of translated books on the market (just look at the number of translations in French, Italian, German for example). – Thanks for the link!

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