The hashtag for the campaign is: #lap1book.
“Cursed are those who indulge in idealizing the moment when the sun lights up the horizon!”
“There is just too much emphasis on women as barometers for society.”
It’s popular to think that literature gives us a “window into the lives of others” and other similar cliches, but marginalized, stigmatized subjectivities such as the Palestinians’ aren’t a costume that we can try on and take off at our whim by opening and closing a book. The desire to better understand diverse Palestinian experiences through their literature is noble, the claim to authoritatively know Palestinians through it isn’t.
“Who are some good Palestinian novelists/poets/essayists to read?”
“Gaza Weddings,” first published in Arabic in 2004, is part of Nasrallah’s Palestinian Comedy project, an eight-novel series in the spirit of Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine.
Yet it was in Kanafani’s Men in the Sun, Habayeb says, that she found what it meant to be a Palestinian. “I cried because of this discovery.”
“Poetry, Barghouti pointed out, is his way to explore and discover ideas, but ideas don’t drive the poem.”
“But the broom grows skinnier by the day, just like her.”
“‘Velvet’ begins with Hawwa crossing a narrow street, entering a narrower alley, and turning into countless others. As she passes through the alleys she knows by heart, she ruminates on her family and her frequent trips to the seamstress’s house where she works and has found refuge from the harshness of the refugee camp.”
If we allow ourselves to peel off assumptions, biases, “moral lessons,” the sins of ideology, and the lie of the triumph of good and truth over evil and injustice, we will be surprised by the turn of the narrative.
“The project brings together ten poets from the Arab world, Spain and Catalonia, selected by a committee of experts from the Arab world and Spain, and invites them to compose works on a specified theme. These are then translated by a team of professional translators in a workshop that is held in Barcelona.”