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Issue 5, June 2004

Thursday 24 June 2004

East Translates East Publications Project Announces Competition Results

After a series of discussions an international committee has agreed upon the successful applicants for the East Translates East Publications Project. From 51 eligible candidates Next Page Foundation has approved grants to 22 projects from 14 countries (view a full list of supported applications). The translations will be made from Albanian, Czech, Hungarian, Macedonian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, and Ukrainian. Russian was the most widely used original language among the applications as a whole, evincing its continuing relevance as a channel for communication in Eastern Europe. From the applications which were approved, however, Polish was the most popular with 5 titles compared with 4 translations from Russian.

One should note that in this first round of the competition there was no list of recommended titles: publishers relied on their own professional assessment of readers’ demands. The publishers’ astuteness was praised by one committee member who commented that “ a strong body of literary and intellectual primary material has been put forward “. This bodes well for the future of intra-regional translation, hitherto neglected.

The committee clearly approved the translation of some well-established writers such as Pelevin, Sorokin and Yerofeyev, Simic, Gombrowicz, Waginov and Tokarczuk. Grants were also given to some theoretical works, widely known in the region, such as Lotman’s Culture and Discontinuity and Groys’s The Total Art of Stalinism. As a whole, the titles which were selected are representative of some of the complex cultural cross-threads in the region, thus promising to open an East-East intellectual dialogue.

The deadline for the next round of the competition is 15th of September, 2004. Prior to that date, Next Page Foundation will prepare the first draft of a recommended list of titles.

NEW BOOKS PUBLISHED

Gilman,Charlotte Perkins: Women and Economics: Relation Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution (Dover Publications, 1998)
-  translated into Georgian by Lela Nanuashvili and published by The Georgian Research Institute for Scientific and Technical Information and Techno-Economic Studies (Techinformi), 2004;
-  translated into Albanian by Arjana Cela and published by Koci Publishing House, Tirana, 2004

Both supported by the Women’s Issues Translation Project.
This is the best known work of the famous American writer, economist, lecturer, and early theorist of the feminist movement Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935). First published in 1898, this pivotal work has been widely read and analyzed. It attracted renewed interest in the 60s in relation to the ongoing debate on gender difference and inequality. Gilman’s book represented a profound theoretical dissection of the categories of public and private, work and home, advocating many revolutionary proposals. They include the promotion of women’s involvement in the public space and deep reforms of the family structure, guaranteeing a win-win situation for both men and women: a call for extensive childcare facilities and parental leave policies: and a design for new housing arrangements with communal kitchens and hired cooks.

Many of these proposals were in fact implemented - albeit ideologically restated - in communist societies. The publication of Gilman’s work in Georgia and Armenia thus offers a useful historical perspective on women’s issues, connecting the distant theory and practice of suffrage with the more recent experience of communist and post-communist women.

The Macedonian Question – Culture, Historiography, Politics, ed. by Victor Roudometof (Columbia University Press, 2000), translated into Macedonian by Nevenka Mitrevska and published by Euro-Balkan Press, Skopije, 2004, supported by the Balkan History Translation Project.

The question of Macedonian national identity, still contentious in the region, is re-examined in this collection of critical essays. Victor Roudometof has brought together key texts by well-known scholars from Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, the UK and USA, which throw light on the roots of the century-long ethnic and political problems relating to the symbolic and geopolitical territory of the Macedonian Republic. Applying interdisciplinary methods of survey and analysis, these essays challenge the traditional stereotypes of the so-called Macedonian question. The book claims neither to close this age-old debate nor to complicate it, but rather to open it to serious and dispassionate international discussion.

Gender, Globalization and Democratization, ed. by Rita Mae Kelly, Jane H. Bayes, Mary E. Hawkesworth, and Brigitte Young (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2001), translated into Romanian by Alina Pelea and Nadia Farcas, supported by the Women’s Issues Translation Project.

This is a compelling collection of women’s voices which speak eloquently of the uneven experiences of globalization and democratization. The Korean Comfort women of Japan, the maquiladoras of Mexico, the burdened women of Africa, and the “new settlers” of Oceania are evocative of the abuses that women in East European countries also face and deal with. Fresh theoretical perspectives frame the interviews which bear upon the most pressing issues of today’s changing world. Offering a fresh methodological approach, this genre of book is greatly needed in Central and East European Social sciences.