Among the long list of German words that lack a direct English translation, there’s one I’m particularly fond of: nestbeschmutzer. It translates roughly to “one who dirties their own nest” and can be used in the context of a whistleblower, but most often means a denigrator of one’s own
It took me less than five minutes via Google Maps to find where English travel writer Bruce Chatwin had lived during his time Edinburgh.
To write about Robert Walser when considering the unsung modernists of the 20th century seems both a falsehood and a complete necessity.
At the age of 16, soon-to-be writer, editor, and translator René Daumal decided to inhale carbon tetrachloride. Deliberately inhaling carbon tetrachloride is generally a bad idea, but Daumal did it anyway because he wanted to “see,” to hover between life and death in order to understand both more fully.
Most long-dead literary circles have unsung heroes, authors who were important when they were alive but have since fallen through the cracks of history for one reason or another. Macedonio Fernandez is one such figure—he is now almost completely unknown outside of his native Argentina, and even in Argentina
In nature writing, it’s not uncommon for “the ever-changing dividing line between the animal and the human,” or something similarly abstract, to be a central theme throughout a book, or at least something that critics and reviewers like to write about.