Hi! This is the second in a series of translations from Jules Renard’s Le Vigneron dans sa vigne. The first segment can be found here, and the original French text here. The Vintner in His Vineyard Mores of the Philippes II I paid them a visit for the new year. I had left a bushy country, […]


It’s quite simple, really. Le Vigneron dans sa vigne does not appear to have been translated into English previously, it’s in the public domain, and when I found I had easy access to the French version online, it seemed like it would be fun to have a crack at it. So it wasn’t really a well thought-out decision. […]


Jules Renard, a French author who lived from 1864-1910, is probably best-known in the English-speaking world for Poil de carotte (Carrot Top), an episodic work about a boy’s difficult childhood that has been translated into English, and his eminently quotable journal. However, Renard wrote several other books that have never been translated into English or are not […]


To continue with my Milwaukee Film Fest highlights, The Fits has a lot in common with the last film I wrote about, Kaili Blues: Both are directorial debuts, both are lower on plot and higher on immediate visual appeal and both involve supernatural-ish elements that are treated matter-of-factly. The Fits follows Toni, a young girl who spends […]


A film that I enjoyed immensely at this year’s Milwaukee Film Fest is Kaili Blues, the debut from director Bi Gan. On the one hand, I didn’t feel it was entirely successful as a complete film, but on the other hand, I loved it. The impression I had gathered from reviews before going to see […]


Partners, a film showing as part of the Milwaukee Film Fest shorts package “Date Night,” was a pleasant surprise for me. While I have no particular prejudice against short films, I haven’t often met with shorts that produce a full, satisfying experience. This one defied my expectations. Partners was also a surprise because my interpretation […]


I love seeing Hong Sang-soo movies at U.S. festivals, because there’s always that moment when the person behind you suddenly realizes that something subtle and weird has happened. Two minutes later, they think they have it all figured out. But they’re more alert than they were previously. They’re really paying attention now. Then the person […]


So. There’s already been quite a to-do surrounding Michiko Kakutani’s so-called thinly-veiled attack on Trump in her recent New York Times review of historian Volker Ullrich’s Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939.  While her review definitely gives a nod to the significance of Ullrich’s work and delves quite thoroughly into parts of it, her examination of the book comes […]


The quickest way to get me very, very interested in something is to tell me I can’t do it. So it’s really no surprise that I’ve been obsessed with translating French poet Stéphane Mallarmé’s famous sonnet, the one sometimes known as “Le Cygne,” for years. No one has ever actually told me that I couldn’t […]


I tend to have problems with Nabokov books. I mean the actual, physical books. Years ago, I bought a copy of Bend Sinister and never got a chance to read the damned thing because this particular edition was bound by a barely flexible plastic cover. When I tried to open the novel more than 90°, the […]