Soon I will be recording a podcast-only, no live attendance, no live video Conversations with Tyler with Michael Orthofer. Michael runs the site Literary Saloon and is perhaps the world’s most productive book reviewer and book review blogger, with a focus on foreign fiction translated into English. Michael is a deeply devoted infovore, and I expect this to be one of the most interesting conversations in the series.
Here is my short review of Michael’s big book on world literature: “If you measure book quality by the actual marginal product of the text, this is one of the best books written, ever. Reading the manuscript in draft form induced me to a) write an enthusiastic blurb, and b) order about forty items through Amazon, mostly used of course. The book is basically a comprehensive guide to what is valuable and interesting in recently translated world literature, a meta-book so to speak, with extensive coverage of most of the countries you might want.”
Here is the New Yorker profile of Orthofer:
“I can’t imagine not doing it,” Orthofer told me. “A day in which I don’t read or write, I have trouble falling asleep.” His goal is to read a book a day, though he confesses that this is “unrealistic.” He works on weekends, too, and has written four novels that are in the drawer. His main interests, according to the site, are inline roller-skating in Central Park and building snow sculptures, some of which are big enough that he carves staircases inside them to get to the top. When he tires of working, he steps out to a library or bookstore, “to see, be around books.” Last year, and this year, he worked through Christmas.
OK, so what should I ask Michael? Comments are open.
Addendum: Here are previous installments of Conversations with Tyler.