e c l e c t i c a n o n f i c t i o n
(Click on the title to view the whole piece)
A Translator's Complaint
Let us suppose that one has made a good, lifelike, and literate—nay, and more to the point, thoroughly contemporary and literary—translation, one that can succeed in conveying the qualities of the original. What if it turns out that the translator's culture is resistant to its reception? More than resistant: hostile, or defensive, or, what seems to me the worst case, aesthetically deaf and blind?
Birds of Prayer: A Memoir, Parts 4-7 (Spotlight Runner-Up!)
While Magda's cooking was tempestuous and peppery, my mother's was soothing and rich. Both artfully balanced sweet and sour, cinnamon and cloves, caraway and garlic, salt and paprika, temporarily conjuring the spirits of the dead with their challahs, strudels, kishkas, stuffed cabbages and goulash, as if just the right combination of ingredients could transport them all back to a time before anyone realized how unsafe life could be.
How to Land a Totally Improbable Job in a Completely Unexpected Way
I had a rosy mental picture of leading an agreeable animal at a leisurely pace in the sunshine with a little breeze in the air. I gave no thought to the cruel heat of summer or the harsh winds of winter, and I didn't know that race horses in training are as hard to manage as two year old children, or 1,000-pound children.
The First of December
With the first snow, the logging roads became like another world. Another world, and newer. The square roadbeds were newly paved, freshly glazed, between drifted curbstones. And when it iced up, the bare winter hardwoods acquired a fairytale foliage overnight. Hunting along them then was like walking through a series of great jeweled rooms, skylit, shimmering in the noontide, the limbs clattering above you like cheap wind chimes.