The International Literary Quarterly
Contributors

Shanta Acharya
Marjorie Agosín
Donald Adamson
Diran Adebayo
Nausheen Ahmad
Toheed Ahmad
Amanda Aizpuriete
Baba Akote
Elisa Albo
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Rosetta Allan
María Teresa Andruetto
Innokenty Annensky
Claudia Apablaza
Robert Appelbaum
Michael Arditti
Jenny Argante
Sandra Arnold
C.J.K. Arkell
Agnar Artúvertin
Sarah Arvio
Rosemary Ashton
Mammed Aslan
Coral Atkinson
Rose Ausländer
Shushan Avagyan
Razif Bahari
Elizabeth Baines
Jo Baker
Ismail Bala
Evgeny Baratynsky
Saule Abdrakhman-kyzy Batay
Konstantin Nikolaevich Batyushkov
William Bedford
Gillian Beer
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Ilya Bernstein
Mashey Bernstein
Christopher Betts
Sujata Bhatt
Sven Birkerts
Linda Black
Chana Bloch
Amy Bloom
Mary Blum Devor
Michael Blumenthal
Jean Boase-Beier
Jorge Luis Borges
Alison Brackenbury
Julia Brannigan
Theo Breuer
Iain Britton
Françoise Brodsky
Amy Brown
Bernard Brown
Diane Brown
Gay Buckingham
Carmen Bugan
Stephen Burt
Zarah Butcher McGunnigle
James Byrne
Kevin Cadwallander
Howard Camner
Mary Caponegro
Marisa Cappetta
Helena Cardoso
Adrian Castro
Luis Cernuda
Firat Cewerî
Pierre Chappuis
Neil Charleton
Janet Charman
Sampurna Chattarji
Amit Chaudhuri
Mèlissa Chiasson
Ronald Christ
Alex Cigale
Sally Cline
Marcelo Cohen
Lila Cona
Eugenio Conchez
Andrew Cowan
Mary Creswell
Christine Crow
Pedro Xavier Solís Cuadra
Majella Cullinane
P. Scott Cunningham
Emma Currie
Jeni Curtis
Stephen Cushman
David Dabydeen
Susan Daitch
Rubén Dario
Jean de la Fontaine
Denys Johnson Davies
Lydia Davis
Robert Davreu
David Dawnay
Jill Dawson
Rosalía de Castro
Joanne Rocky Delaplaine
Patricia Delmar
Christine De Luca
Tumusiime Kabwende Deo
Paul Scott Derrick
Josephine Dickinson
Belinda Diepenheim
Jenny Diski
Rita Dove
Arkadii Dragomoschenko
Paulette Dubé
Denise Duhamel
Jonathan Dunne
S. B. Easwaran
Jorge Edwards
David Eggleton
Mohamed El-Bisatie
Tsvetanka Elenkova
Johanna Emeney
Osama Esber
Fiona Farrell
Ernest Farrés
Elaine Feinstein
Gigi Fenster
Micah Timona Ferris
Vasil Filipov
Maria Filippakopoulou
Ruth Fogelman
Peter France
Alexandra Fraser
Bashabi Fraser
Janis Freegard
Robin Fry
Alice Fulton
Ulrich Gabriel
Manana Gelashvili
Laurice Gilbert
Paul Giles
Zulfikar Ghose
Corey Ginsberg
Chrissie Gittins
Sarah Glazer
Michael Glover
George Gömöri
Giles Goodland
Martin Goodman
Roberta Gordenstein
Mina Gorji
Maria Grech Ganado
David Gregory
Philip Gross
Carla Guelfenbein
Daniel Gunn
Charles Hadfield
Haidar Haidar
Ruth Halkon
Tomás Harris
Geoffrey Hartman
Siobhan Harvey
Beatriz Hausner
John Haynes
Jennifer Hearn
Helen Heath
Geoffrey Heptonstall
Felisberto Hernández
W.N. Herbert
William Hershaw
Michael Hettich
Allen Hibbard
Hassan Hilmi
Rhisiart Hincks
Kerry Hines
Amanda Hopkinson
Adam Horovitz
David Howard
Sue Hubbard
Aamer Hussein
Fahmida Hussain
Alexander Hutchison
Sabine Huynh
Juan Kruz Igerabide Sarasola
Neil Langdon Inglis
Jouni Inkala
Ofonime Inyang
Kevin Ireland
Michael Ives
Philippe Jacottet
Robert Alan Jamieson
Rebecca Jany
Andrea Jeftanovic
Ana Jelnikar
Miroslav Jindra
Stephanie Johnson
Bret Anthony Johnston
Marion Jones
Tim Jones
Gabriel Josipovici
Pierre-Albert Jourdan
Sophie Judah
Tomoko Kanda
Maarja Kangro
Jana Kantorová-Báliková
Fawzi Karim
Kapka Kassabova
Susan Kelly-DeWitt
Mimi Khalvati
Daniil Kharms
Velimir Khlebnikov
Akhmad hoji Khorazmiy
David Kinloch
John Kinsella
Yudit Kiss
Tomislav Kuzmanović
Andrea Labinger
Charles Lambert
Christopher Lane
Jan Lauwereyns
Fernando Lavandeira
Graeme Lay
Ilias Layios
Hiên-Minh Lê
Mikhail Lermontov
Miriam Levine
Suzanne Jill Levine
Micaela Lewitt
Zhimin Li
Joanne Limburg
Birgit Linder
Pippa Little
Parvin Loloi
Christopher Louvet
Helen Lowe
Ana Lucic
Aonghas MacNeacail
Kona Macphee
Kate Mahony
Sara Maitland
Channah Magori
Vasyl Makhno
Marcelo Maturana Montañez
Stephanie Mayne
Ben Mazer
Harvey Molloy
Osip Mandelstam
Alberto Manguel
Olga Markelova
Laura Marney
Geraldine Maxwell
John McAuliffe
Peter McCarey
John McCullough
Richard McKane
John MacKinven
Cilla McQueen
Edie Meidav
Ernst Meister
Lina Meruane
Jesse Millner
Deborah Moggach
Mawatle J. Mojalefa
Jonathan Morley
César Moro
Helen Mort
Laura Moser
Andrew Motion
Paola Musa
Robin Myers
André Naffis-Sahely
Vivek Narayanan
Bob Natifu
María Negroni
Hernán Neira
Barbra Nightingale
Paschalis Nikolaou
James Norcliffe
Carol Novack
Annakuly Nurmammedov
Joyce Carol Oates
Sunday Enessi Ododo
Obododimma Oha
Michael O'Leary
Antonio Diaz Oliva
Wilson Orhiunu
Maris O'Rourke
Sue Orr
Wendy O'Shea-Meddour
María Claudia Otsubo
Ruth Padel
Ron Padgett
Thalia Pandiri
Judith Dell Panny
Hom Paribag
Lawrence Patchett
Ian Patterson
Georges Perros
Pascale Petit
Aleksandar Petrov
Mario Petrucci
Geoffrey Philp
Toni Piccini
Henning Pieterse
Robert Pinsky
Mark Pirie
David Plante
Nicolás Poblete
Sara Poisson
Clare Pollard
Mori Ponsowy
Wena Poon
Orest Popovych
Jem Poster
Begonya Pozo
Pauline Prior-Pitt
Eugenia Prado Bassi
Ian Probstein
Sheenagh Pugh
Kate Pullinger
Zosimo Quibilan, Jr
Vera V. Radojević
Margaret Ranger
Tessa Ransford
Shruti Rao
Irina Ratushinskaya
Tanyo Ravicz
Richard Reeve
Sue Reidy
Joan Retallack
Laura Richardson
Harry Ricketts
Ron Riddell
Cynthia Rimsky
Loreto Riveiro Alvarez
James Robertson
Peter Robertson
Gonzalo Rojas
Dilys Rose
Gabriel Rosenstock
Jack Ross
Anthony Rudolf
Basant Rungta
Joseph Ryan
Sean Rys
Jostein Sæbøe
André Naffis Sahely
Eurig Salisbury
Fiona Sampson
Polly Samson
Priya Sarukkai Chabria
Maree Scarlett
John Schad
Michael Schmidt
L.E. Scott
Maureen Seaton
Alexis Sellas
Hadaa Sendoo
Chris Serio
Resul Shabani
Bina Shah
Yasir Shah
Daniel Shapiro
Ruth Sharman
Tina Shaw
David Shields
Ana María Shua
Christine Simon
Iain Sinclair
Katri Skala
Carole Smith
Ian C. Smith
Elizabeth Smither
John Stauffer
Jim Stewart
Susan Stewart
Jesper Svenbro
Virgil Suárez
Lars-Håkan Svensson
Sridala Swami
Rebecca Swift
George Szirtes
Chee-Lay Tan
Tugrul Tanyol
José-Flore Tappy
Alejandro Tarrab
Campbell Taylor
John Taylor
Judith Taylor
Petar Tchouhov
Miguel Teruel
John Thieme
Karen Thornber
Tim Tomlinson
Angela Topping
David Trinidad
Kola Tubosun
Nick Vagnoni
Joost Vandecasteele
Jan van Mersbergen
Latika Vasil
Yassen Vassilev
Lawrence Venuti
Lidia Vianu
Dev Virahsawmy
Anthony Vivis
Richard Von Sturmer
Răzvan Voncu
Nasos Vayenas
Mauricio Wacquez
Julie Marie Wade
Alan Wall
Marina Warner
Mia Watkins
Peter Wells
Stanley Wells
Laura Watkinson
Joe Wiinikka-Lydon
Hayden Williams
Edwin Williamson
Ronald V. Wilson
Stephen Wilson
Alison Wong
Leslie Woodard
Elzbieta Wójcik-Leese
Niel Wright
Manolis Xexakis
Xu Xi
Gao Xingjian
Sonja Yelich
Tamar Yoseloff
Augustus Young
Soltobay Zaripbekov
Karen Zelas
Alan Ziegler
Ariel Zinder

 

President, Publisher & Founding Editor:
Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Glenna Luschei
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Vice-President: Elena Poniatowska
U. S. General Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
London Editor/Senior Editor-at-Large: Geraldine Maxwell
New York Editor/Senior Editor-at-Large: Meena Alexander
Washington D.C. Editor/Senior
Editor-at-Large:
Laura Moser
Argentine Editor: Yamila Musa
Deputy Editor: Allen Hibbard
Deputy Editor: Jerónimo Mohar Volkow
Deputy Editor: Bina Shah
Advisory Consultant: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
General Editor: Malvina Segui
Art Editor: Lara Alcantara-Lansberg
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Deputy General Editor: Jeff Barry

Consulting Editors
Shanta Acharya
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boullossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Hollis Clayson
Sarah Churchwell
Marcelo Cohen
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Beatriz Hausner
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Thomas Luschei
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Martha Nussbaum
Tim Parks
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Daniel Shapiro
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Daniel Shapiro
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Assistant Editor: Sara Besserman
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Conor Bracken
Assistant Editor: Eugenio Conchez
Assistant Editor: Patricia Delmar
Assistant Editor: Lucila Gallino
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Krista Oehlke
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Assistant Editor: Naomi Schub
Assistant Editor: Stephanie Smith
Assistant Editor: Emily Snyder
Assistant Editor: Robert Toperter
Assistant Editor: Laurence Webb
Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

 

Peter Robertson, President of Interlitq, with Glenna Luschei, a Vice-President of Interlitq, Cafe Tortoni, Buenos Aires, July 2016.

The Power of Prose:
The Adventures of a Literary Review

InterLitQ Founder Peter Robertson on his rollercoaster decade with the multilingual review
 

 



This article was first published in The Linguist, APRIL/MAY 2017

In September 2017, InterLitQ (the online multilingual The International Literary Quarterly) will be ten years old. It has been a chequered decade, with innumerable highs and lows, but it is likely that we will continue far beyond our tenth anniversary to face-and hopefully rise to-many new challenges.

The origin of InterLitQ dates back to my days as a correspondent for the New York-based publication Mad Hatters’ Review, founded by the indomitable Carol Novack, the author and erstwhile lawyer who passed away far too young, at just 63. I was living in Madrid at the time and I had come across some texts by the Spanish author Juan Jose Millas, which I set about translating. It was one of my early forays into literary translation, and I was at a loss as to where to send them. My first choice was Carol, who not only accepted the work, but also suggested that I assume the role of UK Editor for her review. Flattered by her invitation, I accepted gladly.

Returning to live in London, I began preparing a feature that would profile music, art and literature by contemporary Scottish artists such as Calum Colvin, Janice Galloway and Tom Pow. It appeared in Mad Hatters’ Review (MHR) in January 2007, followed by a feature on the work of English artists, including George Blacklock, Aamer Hussein and Gabriel Josipovici, in the June issue.

Carol’s mantra seemed to be that work in her review should be avant-guard. I saw this as a limitation, believing instead that merit transcends alignment with a particular literary tendency. With this touchstone in mind, I started to conceive of launching my own literary review, which would fight shy of any artistic allegiance. I tendered my resignation to Carol and launched The International Literary Quarterly in September.

Despite our ideological differences, Carol and I remained on good terms, with an example of her work appearing in Issue 1 of InterLitQ. Without all that I had learnt during my time with MHR, and especially the rudimentary technical knowledge I acquired, I very much doubt that InterLitQ would have come into being at all, and so the seed that Carol planted lives on to this day, not only in her own review but also in mine.

Inclusiveness and diversity

The leitmotiv of InterLitQ was inclusiveness and the review has set out to publish literature in many languages, and in several genres. Indeed, the apotheosis of this overarching idea took place thanks to the intervention of the literary translator Sophie Lewis. She had been approached by Richard Burns (aka Richard Berengarten), the poet and Cambridge academic, who was keen to publish the Volta Project, an anthology of poems. A poem by Richard, inspired by George Seferis, and 92 translations, Volta was, in Richard’s words, “a celebration of multilingualism and diversity” in 93 contemporary languages.

Regarding the proposal as unique and fascinating, I seized the opportunity, and so InterLitQ came to publish literature in languages such as Abkhaz, Mongolian, Nupe and Samburu. After a long hiatus, we will resume publication of Volta, with the inclusion of texts in additional languages, including Piedmontese and Sardinian. In doing so, the review has availed itself of Richard’s extensive international network of literary translators. With such a goodly display of literary talent on offer, I have found it hard to agree with Cervantes’s dictum that “translation is the other side of a tapestry”.

The early days of InterLitQ, which I spent in a rented garden flat in London, were a flurry of activity, with lunches, drinks receptions, and meetings in a myriad cafes, as I met an array of authors. However, I had no time to feel prey to an Eliotian sense of having “measured out my life with coffee spoons”. After all, there were many texts to be evaluated, a heavy volume of editing to attend to, and a need to spread word about the review-at that time generally unknown to the reading public.

Setbacks, always inevitable, were to follow hard on the heels of the heady days: the departure of our highly professional production assistant-hard to replace-who landed a tenured position at a US university; and the decision on two occasions by Arts Council England, firstly in 2011 and subsequently in 2015, not to provide financing. The review, which had been publishing for several years, was cut adrift from structural and economic moorings.

At the end of 2011, the online issue www.interlitq.org went into abeyance for 18 months, although texts of considerable merit, such as Paul Scott Derrick’s fine translations of poems by Pablo Neruda, continued to be published in its blog (www.interlitq.wordpress.com). Some years later, this oeuvre was to be republished in the magazine’s Poetic Voices series.

A bright future?

I believe that if InterLitQ continues to innovate, it stands every chance of going from strength to strength. We are no longer a quarterly, but will publish on a regular basis, striving to become a more fluid publication that engages constantly with our readers. One of our central objectives this year is to reach out to native French readers by providing a home for high-quality writing in French. Many years ago, in the course of trying to place the French translation of my story Trip to Hell, I was struck by the relative dearth of literary reviews in France. Our readership in France is growing, but it is a gradual process.

We also have a loyal nucleus of readers in Argentina, where I have been resident for 16 years, and we aim to build on this momentum, acting as a bridge of interaction between the English- and Spanish-speaking worlds. It is an ambitious undertaking, but one that we aspire to. As is so often the case in the world of publishing, financing issues continue to dog us. As a not-for-profit corporation in New York, InterLitQ has no regular source of income and has always constituted a leap of faith.

In my quest to take InterLitQ to new heights, I am blessed to count on the moral support of the US poet and editor, Glenna Luschei, now one of InterLitQ’s three Vice-Presidents, alongside the Mexican journalist Elena Poniatowska and the Palestinian academic Sari Nusseibeh.

Glenna has more than 50 years experience in the world of publishing, having launched her Solo Press in 1966, and she is always on hand to offer the review her immense, hard-won wisdom. The first message I received from Glenna came on the day my mother died on 5 June 2016, the day after the anniversary of the tragic death of Glenna’s daughter Linda in 1994; a shared sense of bereavement, and the desire to transform the pain of loss into a source of renewal, has brought us together.

And so, with InterLitQ’s 10th anniversary in sight, 2017 looks set to be a busy year as I seek to juggle my work as a United Nations translator with my editorial role and, after some fallow years, my own output in both fiction and literary translation.

It is, of course, the readers that determine the longevity of any publication. And I hope to be fit to the task of providing readers of InterLitQ, currently to be found mostly in the Americas but also growing steadily in Europe, with a regular flow of high-quality international literature that reflects an immense diversity, and has the power to challenge our most deep-rooted preconceptions.

"The Power of Prose"