Infinite Jest Translator’s Forum
Sponsored by the International David Foster Wallace Society
Sunday, December 10, 2023
11am Austin (CST), 2pm Rio, 6pm Zurich, 7pm Athens, 8:30pm Tehran
Open to the public:
Kostas Kaltsas (Greek)
Ulrich Blumenbach (German)
Igor Cvijanovic (Serbian)
Can Kantarci (Turkish)
Moeen Farrokhi (Farsi)
Vasco Teles de Menezes (Portuguese)
Moderated by Matt Bucher
A biologist by training and a former bookseller by profession, Kostas Kaltsas holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Southampton, and works as a literary translator. Previous translations into Greek include Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn and David Foster Wallace’s String Theory. He is currently completing his long-awaited (don’t even ask) translation of Infinite Jest. Somehow he also found time to write a novel – Victorious Dust – forthcoming by Psychogios in Greek and Vulkan in Serbian mid-2024.
Ulrich Blumenbach studied English and German literature in Muenster, Sheffield (GB) and Berlin and began work as a literary translator in 1993. He has translated novels, stories, poems, and essays by Stephen Fry, Jack Kerouac, Jonathan Lethem, Dorothy Parker, Raja Rao and other authors. He has received several awards for his translations of David Foster Wallace’ Infinite Jest and Joshua Cohen’s Witz. Blumenbach lives in Basel (Switzerland) and is currently working on James Joyceʼs Finnegans Wake.
Moeen Farrokhi is an Iranian writer and translator. His works in Farsi include two short-story collections, The Pure Snow (Cheshmeh Publication House, 2016) and Artificial Dreams (banned from publication), along with the long essay A Supposedly Nonpolitical Narration of a Political Event: Iran’s Election 2017 (Cheshmeh Publication House, 2018). He has served as the editor in several literary magazines and publication houses in Iran. He has translated works of Zadie Smith and David Foster Wallace into Farsi, the latter includes Yet Another Example (Selected Essays, 2018), Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (2021), and Infinite Jest (2023).
Igor Cvijanović is a translator, teacher, and author hailing from Novi Sad, Serbia. He is best known for his translations into Serbian of works by authors such as David Foster Wallace (including Infinite Jest, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Girl with Curious Hair, Consider the Lobster), Cormac McCarthy, John Barth, Annie Proulx, Joyce Carol Oates, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Anne Carson, Chris Abani, and more. In 2022, Igor published his book Nick Cave and Transgressive Poetics (Nik Kejv i poetika prestupa), currently available exclusively in Serbian. He has published articles on David Foster Wallace, John Barth, Martin Amis, Cormac McCarthy, and Nick Cave. Alongside his literary pursuits, Igor also serves as an English teacher at the University of Novi Sad.
N. Can Kantarci graduated from the Comparative Literature Department of Istanbul Bilgi University. He completed his master’s degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Fulbright scholarship, writing his thesis on ‘the American small town and the grotesque.’ His first full-length feature screenplay was adapted into the film ‘Siren’s Call,’ which made its world premiere at the main competition section of the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2018. His debut novel ‘Tepemizdeki Gölge’ (The Shadow Above Us), which could be described as ‘everyday life science fiction,’ was published by ALFA Books in 2020 and selected as the second-best Turkish science fiction of the year in 2021. His graphic novel project titled ‘Restoration’ was a finalist at COMIKON ISTANBUL 2018, and his novella ‘İDÜK’ was published by Istanbul Municipality’s publishing house in 2022. Having served as the editor of Istanbul Museum of Modern Art for 9 years, Kantarcı has also worked with the Nobel laureate author Orhan Pamuk in various capacities, and is now currently working at Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul as the Center’s Communications Manager. Since 2002, he has translated works of authors such as Mary Shelley, Philip Roth, Jack Kerouac, Hubert Selby Jr., Nick Hornby, Willam Gibson, Alan Moore, George Orwell, among others. Kantarcı continues to translate David Foster Wallace’s novel ‘Infinite Jest’ since 2021.
Vasco Teles de Menezes was born and raised in Lisbon. After finishing Law School he worked as a journalist and film critic for Portuguese newspaper Público. Later, he started his own film store, the now defunct Cinecittà. He has been a translator since 2003, tackling an array of American and British writers including David Foster Wallace, Susan Sontag, Jennifer Egan, Paul Bowles, Richard Zenith, Howard Jacobson, and David Byrne.