“In 2011, upon my return from Syria with a bag full of books by Tamer and others, I began translating some of the stories for fun, to keep up my Arabic, and to ‘test’ my mother tongue and its potential. Can Arabic be translated into an uncodified language like ours?”
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Last Wednesday, Banipal magazine presented “An evening with Zakaria Tamer” to celebrate one of the Arabic language’s most influential writers: By Valentina Viene Banipal dedicated its latest issue entirely to the celebrated Syrian short-story writer. Since 1957, Tamer has published eleven short-story collections,… Read More ›
“Tamer was once asked why he didn’t write a novel. ‘As if they would go to a baker, he answered back, and ask him why he doesn’t sell roses!'”
The fat policeman entered the tomb, walked a few bewildered moments, then shouted with a stretched voice: “Omar Khayyám!”
Here, a new translation of a story published in 1985, a year when presidential elections were held in Syria and there was only one candidate, Hafez al-Assad. He won a reported 100% of the vote.
“Every hour during the EdArabFest there will be on-the-spot readings (in English) of short stories by Zakaria Tamer….”
Saadallah Wannous, Zakaria Tamer, Adonis, and others are still being called upon in an effort to miniaturize and understand what’s going on in Syria: what’s happened and what will happen.
Yes, you must read Haidar Haidar, Ghada Samman (a new edition of her Beirut Nightmares was recently released), Hanna Mina, Fawwaz Haddad, Zakaria Tamer, Khaled Khalifa, and many other Syrian writers over 41. More on them tomorrow.
“But there is the other, heavier responsibility, of the writer/translator who is part of the dominant, the ‘colonialist’ culture, which I cannot help being as a United States citizen, raised in that country, translating the work of ‘the subaltern,’ to use Gayatri Spivak’s term.”
“The importance of having children, teens, and young adults engage with literature in translation — literature from other traditions, that builds on different discussions — is an essay for another day. But it is even more essential with Arabic literature[.]”
May Is the Month of Arabic Literature in New York City: Dramatic Readings, Magazine Launches, a Discussion with Basma Abdel Aziz, More
Also, how to read a story from Hassan Blasim’s new collection — out from Comma Press next year.
Arab and Arabic literary events in some form of translation.