Archive for the ‘USA’ Tag

20 Essential Joan Didion Quotes compiled by Michael Alan Connelly

Joan Didion

20 Essential Joan Didion Quotes compiled by Michael Alan Connelly.

About Joan Didion.


Laura Moser discusses Gun Reform

Laura Moser

Laura Moser, the U.S. politician and author and a General Editor for Interlitq, discusses Gun Reform.

Watch Laura Moser for Congress-Launch Video.

Read Laura Moser for Congress.

Read Laura Moser‘s Wikipedia entry.

Read Laura Moser‘s Interlitq entry.



Christopher Ricks – True Friendship/ Video

Christopher Ricks

Christopher Ricks, professor and director of the Editorial Institute at Boston University, discusses his book “True Friendship: Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht, and Robert Lowell Under the Sign of Eliot and Pound.” Presented by Harvard Book Store.

More lectures at This talk took place on April 23, 2010.

About Christopher Ricks

Interlitq publishes “Lovable Blonde Seeks” (Chapter 22) of “Three Rivers: A Memoir” by Glenna Luschei

Glenna Luschei

Interlitq publishes (The Power of Prose series) “Lovable Blonde Seeks” (Chapter 22) of Three Rivers: A Memoir by Glenna Luschei, the U.S. author and editor and a Vice-President of Interlitq.

Read “Mr. Tambourine Man” (Chapter 16) of Three Rivers: A Memoir by Glenna Luschei.

Read “Orchids” (Chapter 21) of Three Rivers: A Memoir by Glenna Luschei.

Read “Joan of Arc Becomes the Girl Next Door” (Chapter 23) of Three Rivers: A Memoir by Glenna Luschei,

Read “Seahorses and Mermaids” (Chapter 25) of Three Rivers: A Memoir by Glenna Luschei.

Read “Iowa” (Chapter 2) of Three Rivers: A Memoir by Glenna Luschei.

“But we know next to nothing about the author of the The Song of Songs…”: Chana Bloch

Chana Bloch

Extract from Interlitq’s Featured Interview with Chana Bloch

Interlitq: Why Yiddish and Hebrew?

I grew up as a first-generation American, living between two cultures. My parents came to this country from tiny shtetls in the Ukraine. I learned Yiddish as a child and began to study Hebrew in college and graduate school. In my twenties, I discovered that translation offered me a way of honoring the creativity in these two languages, more meaningful by far than the nostalgia that too often passes for Jewish identity. I went on to translate Yiddish poetry (Jacob Glatstein, Avrom Sutzkever) and prose (Isaac Bashevis Singer), the biblical Song of Songs, and contemporary Israeli poets Yehuda Amichai and Dahlia Ravikovitch. Once I was engaged in this work, I felt a responsibility to help save what might otherwise be lost, and to contribute something of substance to American-Jewish culture. I am fortunate to have known the contemporary writers I translated from Yiddish and Hebrew and to have carried the sound of their voices in my ear.

But we know next to nothing about the author of the The Song of Songs, perhaps the most challenging of translation projects. When did that extraordinary writer live? Could the poet have been a woman? There’s no way of knowing for sure. The Song is one of the most enigmatic books in the Bible in part because it has an unusually high proportion of rare words and constructions. Resolving the puzzles in the Hebrew fell to Ariel Bloch, my co-translator. Once the two of us had a reasonably clear sense of what the Hebrew was saying, it was my task to embody that reading—unexpurgated—in English that sounded like poetry. The Song is a poem about erotic love, but once it became part of the Holy Scriptures, religious interpretations of one kind or another prevailed for two millennia. The passion in the Song rises at times to 120 degrees in the shade:

Awake, north wind; O south wind, come,
breathe upon my garden,
let its spices stream out.
Let my lover come into his garden
and taste its delicious fruit. (4:16)

In the long history of exegesis and translation, alas, the temperature drops precipitously.

Ariel and I felt that none of the English translations conveyed the rare combination of sensuousness and delicacy that makes the Hebrew so captivating. Just as earlier interpretations typically erred on the side of prudishness, contemporary translations (perhaps to atone for centuries of exegetical evasiveness) sometimes verge on crudeness. Searching to find the proper register in English—neither too formal and stylized, nor too breezy and colloquial—took us through a box full of drafts. What kept us going was the desire to convey in English the erotic intensity and magical freshness of this great ancient poem.

About Chana Bloch

About Song of Songs