New Episode of BULAQ: ‘The Not So Simple Past’

The latest episode of Bulaq — “The Not So Simple Past” — focuses on Moroccan author Driss Chraibi’s The Simple Past (Le Passé Simple):

The novel, Chraibi’s first, is told in the voice of a vibrantly angry young man in revolt both against a father’s tyranny and the hypocrisies of his colonial education. Back in 1954, it was compared to an explosion, and it remains powerful, both because some of the same issues remain, and because of the incendiary anger of its protagonist.

The Simple Past, was newly re-issued from NYRB Classics in Hugh A. Harter’s old 1990 translation, with a new introduction from Adam Shatz. Shatz’s introduction is available online at the NYR Daily.

Excerpts from Chraibi’s interview with Federico Arbós can be found at Fragmentos de la entrevista con Federico Arbós, El Mundo/La Esfera, 28/3/92.

This episode also references Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy and the father figure of Si Sayyed; Waguih Ghali’s Beer in the Snooker Club; and Tayib Saleh’s Season of Migration to the North.

It was produced by Sowt, and can be heard on multiple platforms.