February 23, 2007 14:25 PM “According to an other view, it is the continuing re-evaluation of one’s own ideals that alone makes possible a (responsible, liberating) politics that can actually change things. […] To me, Terho [Pursiainen, the Green Party, Uusimaa] has always been an embodiment for this alternative way of ‘doing politics’. That’s why I’m about to voite for him in the Parliamentary Elections, 2007.” – From my comment in context of publishing my poem, “Suomalaiset kommunistit Itä-Karjalassa” (The Finnish Communists in Eastern Carelia) at www.terhopursiainen.fi.

February 23, 2007 11:36 AM It was twenty years ago today… bit more even… when Anssi Sinnemäki, the then editor-in-chief of Kulttuurivihkot, a Finnish cultural magazine with a leftist background, asked me to translate the now classic essay by Frederik Jameson, “Postmodernism and Consumer Society”, with it’s – already then – classic (misguided) reference to Bob Perelman’s classic poem, “China”. My translation was published in issue 3-4/1986, being perhaps the first reference to, and piece of translation from, “Language Poetry” in the language. I recently had reason to dig up the issue. “China” in my then Finnish as “Kiina” is now up here.

February 19, 2007 9:31 PM Tuesday, Feb. 20, 7 PM in Tallin, Estonia, here.

February 19, 2007 8:29 PM “Yet a key dilemma remains: If sincerity can be an affect, something artful and made, where does that leave sincerity? How much is appearance of sincerity in many of the poems here also a commentary on sincerity, too?” – Tom Devaney in the best review yet of what he calls the book of his “most emphatic, rewarding poems yet” by Charles Bernstein (The Girly Man). Good questions! The answer, I think, is “more than you’d even think, yet”.

February 18, 2007 5:27 PM I put up some updates at the (still nascent) EPC Scandinavian Portal, including translations of vintage Haavikko from German by Richard Sieburth, and the quintessential “Pajkerno“, from Svensk dikt, by Lars Mikael Raattamaa (complete with a “translation” into “English”, as “Byos”, by me).

February 17, 2007 5:36 PM Updating my calendar, with trips to Tallinn, Estonia, Jyväskylä, Finland, Prague, the Checks Republic, Wuhan, China, Kuopio, Finland, and Bergen, Norway.

February 17, 2007 3:44 PM nypoesi’s new issue, “Oversettelse I” (“Oversettelse som skrivemåte. Översättning som skrivsätt. Oversettelse som skrivemåde. Kääntäminen kirjoitustapana. Translation as a way of writing.” Or, as the Editorial, quite poignantly, I think, puts it: “ingen tekster oversatt fra et nasjonalspråk til et annet”, “no texts translated from one national language to another”) is one more proof of the questions of translation really being in the center of contemporary writing and thought (“in the center”, because “at the margin”). My favorites, at first reading, included the writing-like tableaus by Derek Beaulieu, the recorded progress of translating a “Drama” from sertão of North-East of Brazil by Maria Edite das Chagas, Jennifer Sarah Frota, Scott Bentley, and Zé Frota, the thesaurus-generated versions of Baudelaire by Camille Martin, plus Aki Salmela’s “An Eye Of Resemblance” suite, previously published here. But this is an issue that’s not gonna be emptied up even at the nth reading. Plus, “Oversettelse II” is forthcoming.

February 2, 2007 11:33 AM Jari Paavonheimo, a Finnish librarian, writes interestingly about book in the digital culture in the new editorial of Kiiltomato.net, a Finnish web site for reviewing small press books. Referring to the “long tail” theory he correctly emphasizes the new lebensraum for non-best-selling books (one fourth of Amazon.com sales consisting of books published ouside the traditional publishing industry). Paavonheimo also takes up the issue of possible new kind of myopia in what he labels as “me-media” – i.e. bloggers etc. writing and reading only about “what they already are interested in”. Come to think of it, isn’t there a corresponding logic operative at the other, best-selling, end of the tail: the trade presses concentrating on publishing what they believe everybody to be interested in. “Everybody” in this context meaning “nobody”, this would leave us with a situation where we would read, there, about what we don’t care about, here, what we already know. Where would that leave the polis, the place for the clash between differing views? Some food for thought for you on your more pessimistic days…

February 2, 2007 7:50 AMeyeball-aching ballast” check out this collaborative poem by Ton van ‘t Hof and me at the International Exchange blog.