* A newly translated interview with Borges:
My father showed me his library, which seemed to me infinite, and he told me to read whatever I wanted, but that if something bored me I should put it down immediately, that is, the opposite of obligatory reading.Tributes to Borges from Paul Auster and others can be found in PEN America 1: Classics.
* One of Lydia Davis's stories, provided in full by Amitava Kumar:
Davis paid tribute to Proust (whom she has translated) in PEN America 2: Home & Away
If you ask her what is a favorite story she has written, she will hesitate for a long time and then say it may be this story that she read in a book once: an English language teacher in China asked his Chinese student to say what was the happiest moment in his life. The student hesitated for a long time. At last he smiled with embarrassment and said that his wife had once gone to Beijing and eaten duck there, and she often told him about it, and he would have to say the happiest moment of his life was her trip, and the eating of the duck.
Lastly, Open Letter continues to keep track of all the works of literary translation being published in the US this year. First up this time out: The Executor: A Comedy of Letters, by Michael Krüger, "about a literary executor who has to go through the papers of the recently deceased Rudolf, a scam of an academic who, nevertheless, leaves behind a unpublished masterpiece that will change the future of literature." This is the second of Krüger's novels to appear in English; Andrew Shields was a finalist for the PEN Translation Prize for translating The Cello Player, which was the first.