Al-Mutanabbi and Elias Khoury’s ‘As Though She Were Sleeping’

Humphrey Davies’ translation of Eliash Khoury’s 2007 كأنها نائمة, As Though She Were Sleeping, is now available in the UK. I wish the Marilyn Booth translation (Archipelago, 2012) were out at the same time, so we could compare their strategies. This book is a particularly complex beast: Khoury’s novels have long been interested in what language can’t (and can) do, but كأنها نائمة is perhaps his most language-obsessed work.