Monday, October 20, 2008

Grass Returns!!

Not coming to terms with the past

Grass has published the second volume of his autobiography; Die Box!  Unfortunately it is not going to be available in English until the end of next year which is reflective of a trend in American publishing not to publish or push translations, which has been a prominent theme in the Guardian recently, esp. in light of the recent Nobel Prize. I wonder if the insularity of the publishing community is because of their assumption of the public's reading habits. Unfortunately I also think they are right especially considering the reading public who is walking through the standard book-stores i.e. Border's/B&N who are not interested, for the most part, in any translated work. I'm dealing with students at the reference desk who are asking me "How do I read this book?" referring to Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.This question is definitively dealing with comprehension, understanding and perserverance.  Upon graduation are these individuals going to be interested in translated works, having barely moved into the English canon? This seems unlikely unless I as a librarian and others who are bridging this gap can helpfully and skillfully guide these students into new realms of reading and understanding.

1 comment:

Joy McG said...

Hey, mr. college librarian,

Maybe you should handpick a few students and start a book group--choose something just a little above their reading level, and read it together and discuss it. This might start a spark of desire to want to read and learn more. Pick students who may want to have a relationship with you because they think you are cool!