The PRB presents two Wakefield Press authors with brand new collections of translations from the Press.
Bonnie Ruberg reads from her translation of Gisèle Prassinos, THE ARTHRITIC GRASSHOPPER: COLLECTED STORIES, 1934–1944. Kit Schluter will read from Wakefield's new collection of Marcel Schwob tales, The King in the Golden Mask.
Bonnie Ruberg is an postdoctoral scholar at the University of Southern California and an assistant professor at UC Irvine, where her research focuses on gender and sexuality in digital media. Bonnie received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Comparative Literature with a focus in a range of areas, including French surrealism. She has also worked as a journalist for publications like The Village Voice and The Economist.
Kit Schluter is the translator of Marcel Schwob’s The Book of Monelle and The King in the Golden Mask (both available from Wakefield Press), as well as Jaime Saenz’s The Cold (Poor Claudia) and, in collaboration with Jocelyn Spaar, Amandine André’s Circle of Dogs (Solar▲Luxuriance). His writing has appeared in BOMB, Boston Review, Hyperallergic, Folder, inter|rupture, Entropy and elsewhere. The recipient of a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship for further translation of Schwob, he coedits/designs for O’clock Press and currently lives in Mexico City.
Gisèle Prassinos (1920–2015) was born in Istanbul of a Greek father and an Italian mother. At the age of thirteen she began to compose short absurdist vignettes in a fit of boredom, filling up pages with tales of sarcastic stains, arrogant hair, liquid frogs, and blue spiders. Encouraged by her brother, who introduced her and her experiments in automatic writing to his Surrealist colleagues, she immediately found herself welcomed into the Parisian avant-garde community and her stories were published in all the significant literary journals of the time. Her first collection was published in 1935, with a preface by Paul Éluard and a frontispiece portrait by Man Ray. With World War II, Prassinos stopped publishing and began to distance herself from the Surrealists and the limitations imposed by her writing being so closely bound to the idea of automatism in its purest, “childhood” form. Writing nothing from 1944 to 1954, she then returned to literature with a series of novels and stories that, if still imbued with a Surrealist sensibility, pointed to a new direction in her writing.
Marcel Schwob (1867–1905) was a scholar of startling breadth and an incomparable storyteller. A secret influence on generations of writers, from Guillaume Apollinaire and Jorge Luis Borges to Roberto Bolaño, Schwob was as versed in the street slang of medieval thieves as he was in the poetry of Walt Whitman. His allegiances were to Rabelais and François Villon, Robert Louis Stevenson and Edgar Allan Poe. Paul Valéry and Alfred Jarry both dedicated their first books to him, and in doing so paid tribute to the author who could evoke both the intellect of Leonardo da Vinci and the anarchy of Ubu Roi. He was also the uncle of Lucy Schwob, better remembered today as the Surrealist photographer Claude Cahun.