writing

writing

Poetry for me has always been both playful and contemplative, arising as much from dream as from memory. My fiction, on the other hand, looks outward and has a strong picaresque streak, with plots built on improbable characters whose path I discover as I write my way into and through the books.

The art of translation has shaped me as a writer. Over the years I have drunk deeply from many sources in English, Spanish, French, Catalan, German, Italian and Russian.

NON-FICTION

Natalya, God’s Messenger

 

Scribner, 1994.  The story of Rita, daughter of Russian immigrants, and now living in postwar America, who takes over a palm-reading practice and is reborn as Natalya, God’s messenger. Her fame spreads as she predicts social upheaval and political changes, and she is re-united with Leo, her former lover. 

 

Extract

 

 

::continue reading extract

 

Reviews

 

“A writing niece tells the story of her reading aunt, a magic making, prophesying, professional neighborhood fortune teller in the middle of a family of uncles, cousins, wild grandmother, tender grandfather, lovers, all with political opinions and histories.  A lively, funny book.”

 

– Grace Paley

 

“Highly original and entertaining.  Magda Bogin compassionately renders the lives of her characters and gives fresh voice to the silent and still open wounds of the twentieth century.”

 

– Isabel Allende

 

Natalya, God’s Messenger

Scribner, 1994.  The story of Rita, daughter of Russian immigrants, and now living in postwar America, who takes over a palm-reading practice and is reborn as Natalya, God’s messenger. Her fame spreads as she predicts social upheaval and political changes, and she is re-united with Leo, her former lover. 

Reviews

 

“A writing niece tells the story of her reading aunt, a magic making, prophesying, professional neighborhood fortune teller in the middle of a family of uncles, cousins, wild grandmother, tender grandfather, lovers, all with political opinions and histories.  A lively, funny book.”

– Grace Paley

 

“Highly original and entertaining.  Magda Bogin compassionately renders the lives of her characters and gives fresh voice to the silent and still open wounds of the twentieth century.”

– Isabel Allende

 

NON-FICTION

The Women Troubadours

This is the first twentieth-century study of the women troubadours who flourished in Southern France between 1150 and 1250-the great period of troubadour poetry. The book is comprised of a full-length essay on women in the Middle Ages, twenty-three poems by the women troubadours themselves in the original Provencal with translations on facing pages, a capsule biography of each poet, notes, and reading list.

Reviews

 “Magda Bogin has unearthed one of the strongest and loveliest of the varied fragments of women’s culture.  Her translations…will delight any woman who cares about our creative tradition.”

– Adrienne Rich

“Magda Bogin has lit the poems of the women of an earlier age…and given them to us in their full power.”

– Muriel Rukeyser

“The strength of Bogin’s presentation lies in her case for the sudden emergence of these first female voices in twelfth-century feudal Languedoc.”

– Marina Warner, Manchester Guardian

WORK IN PROGRESS

SQUALID

 

The novel on which I’m currently working…

 

DIVA

Also in progress, is told in the voice of a 12-year old girl who sings in the children’s chorus of the Metropolitan Opera.  Born in Russia and adopted by a writer in New York, she has the voice of a mezzo in the body of a child, and in the middle of Tosca, on stage at the Met, discovers magic powers that launch her on a quest for her biological mother.

The Women Troubadours

This is the first twentieth-century study of the women troubadours who flourished in Southern France between 1150 and 1250-the great period of troubadour poetry. The book is comprised of a full-length essay on women in the Middle Ages, twenty-three poems by the women troubadours themselves in the original Provencal with translations on facing pages, a capsule biography of each poet, notes, and reading list.

Reviews

 “Magda Bogin has unearthed one of the strongest and loveliest of the varied fragments of women’s culture.  Her translations…will delight any woman who cares about our creative tradition.”

– Adrienne Rich

“Magda Bogin has lit the poems of the women of an earlier age…and given them to us in their full power.”

– Muriel Rukeyser

“The strength of Bogin’s presentation lies in her case for the sudden emergence of these first female voices in twelfth-century feudal Languedoc.”

– Marina Warner, Manchester Guardian

WORK IN PROGRESS

SQUALID

 The novel on which I’m currently working…

DIVA

Also in progress, is told in the voice of a 12-year old girl who sings in the children’s chorus of the Metropolitan Opera.  Born in Russia and adopted by a writer in New York, she has the voice of a mezzo in the body of a child, and in the middle of Tosca, on stage at the Met, discovers magic powers that launch her on a quest for her biological mother.

TRANSLATION

 

For many writers– Rilke, Pasternak and so many others—translation has been integral part of their own art. So it has been for me.

Translation links the living and the dead, the ancient and the modern, contemporaries working in languages that are all different forms of the same clay.

Every translation is a reading, a work for four hands: those of the original writer, and those of the translator. The ideal translation holds a mirror to the original and gives pleasure to the artful reader, who should be able to detect that double presence.

The House of the Spirits 

Isabel Allende

Knopf 

1985

from the Spanish

Selected Poems of Salvador Espriu
W.W. Norton, 1989
from the Catalan 

The Selected Poems of Rosario Castellanos
Graywolf, 1988
from the Spanish
Don Quixote 
Cervantes
Abridged & illustrated Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1991
from the Spanish

El Angel’s Last Conquest 
by Elvira Orphee
Ballantine, 1985
from the Spanish 

My Name is Victoria 
Victoria Donda
Other Press, 2011
from the Spanish

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COPYRIGHT 2018 MAGDA BOGIN.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Designed by AREVALOWSKY