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3:AM Reloaded

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What you (may have) missed on 3:AM recently:

Flash fiction: ‘Welcome to Our Flat Share’ by Alan McCormick & Jonny Voss

Comic Strip: A Day in the Life of Spencer McCormick 4′

Poetry: In the fourteenth of his Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the Dutch poet Jan-Willem Anker:

Because I write in Dutch I mostly read Dutch poets, or foreign poetry in translation. You would expect more influence from abroad to be honest. Contemporary French and German poetry have almost no influence on Dutch poetry, since even intellectuals aren’t very good in French any more. And I don’t know any young poet who knows anything about contemporary German poetry. I spent some time in Berlin last year, and I used to work for an international poetry festival in Rotterdam, so I have a vague idea about what is going on in Germany today. Of course people read the older stuff. But I suppose that’s the same in Great Britain.

A lot of Dutch people think they’re good in English when they’re not. I understand that English people are impressed by how easy it is to communicate in the Netherlands, but don’t be fooled. It’s pidgin the Dutch speak, not English. To give you a rather sad and extreme example of how things can go wrong. Seamus Heaney’s District and Circle was translated recently by a young Dutch poet. Some time ago the publishing house decided to take the book out of circulation (no pun intended), because the translation was trashed by critics and colleague translators for being inaccurate and so on. I feel sorry for the guy who translated Heaney’s book. But it shows how hard it is to get a grip on poetry that was written in another country, and in another language.

‘Five Poems’ by Jan-Willem Anker

First posted: Sunday, May 23rd, 2010.

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