Berny Tan at Asymptote Literary Journal (Summer Issue Out Today)

Asymptote

VCS class of 2014 alumna Berny Tan just wrote to me about her new job at the online literary journal Asymptote. Here’s what she had to say:

Since early May, I’ve been working for Asymptote, an online international journal dedicated to literary translation. We have just released our Summer issue—the first issue that I’ve seen through from start to finish as Chief Executive Assistant. In addition to uploading almost every article and other administrative responsibilities, I’ve been liaising with the issue’s guest artist, Robert Zhao Renhui (http://criticalzoologists.org/). A talented, up-and-coming artist that I met a few years ago in Singapore, Robert uses his images to build surreal, mysterious narratives around the relationship between man and nature. I also successfully pitched Hiba Schahbaz, a Pakistani contemporary miniature painter, for the issue’s Visual Section after seeing her work at the Bushwick Open Studios.

 

Here’s a lot more about the journal from the Asymptote website’s About page:

Asymptote is an exciting new international journal dedicated to literary translation and bringing together in one place the best in contemporary writing. We are interested in encounters between languages and the consequences of these encounters. Though a translation may never fully replicate the original in effect (thus our name, “asymptote”: the dotted line on a graph that a mathematical function may tend towards but never reach), it is in itself an act of creation.

asymptotes

George Bernard Shaw famously said, “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange those ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” Similarly, incorporeal works of art (poems, short stories, etc.) have the potential to affect millions, since unlike apples, they are unencumbered by the problem of scarcity (Lewis Hyde). The value of translation is that it unleashes from latency ideas and emotions to a vast sea of others who do not have access to the language in which these ideas and emotions reside.

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Beyond the eclectic platter of languages presented in each issue, Asymptote seeks to persuade the reader of their sensual pleasures. Not only do we display work in its original language after the English translation, we sometimes offer the sounds of that language as well, via a “Press PLAY” audio option whenever such an MP3 recording is available. Other than the usual categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama and interviews, we also feature a section for visual art that relates to Asymptote‘s concerns of language and translation.

Every quarter, we showcase two Special Features: the first a Writers on Writers Feature, in which overlooked non-English writers are concisely introduced and the second a wildcard Feature that varies from issue to issue. For our call for submissions in the Special Feature category in our next issues, and for detailed guidelines for submissions in other sections, please check out our Submit page.

Beyond the eclectic platter of languages presented in each issue, Asymptote seeks to persuade the reader of their sensual pleasures. Not only do we display work in its original language after the English translation, we sometimes offer the sounds of that language as well, via a “Press PLAY” audio option whenever such an MP3 recording is available. Other than the usual categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama and interviews, we also feature a section for visual art that relates to Asymptote‘s concerns of language and translation.
Every quarter, we showcase two Special Features: the first a Writers on Writers Feature, in which overlooked non-English writers are concisely introduced and the second a wildcard Feature that varies from issue to issue. For our call for submissions in the Special Feature category in our next issues, and for detailed guidelines for submissions in other sections, please check out our Submit page.

– See more at: http://www.asymptotejournal.com/about.php#sthash.yRxaYUvd.dpuf

 

You can find the new issue of Asymptote at this link. I’ll be back with more updates about Berny’s work there later this summer.

Visual & Critical Studies