This short text by Iraqi short-story writer and playwright Hassan Blasim, translated by Jonathan Wright, has been circulating again on social media.
O Full Moon,
Did you see my own full moon?
“Limbo Beirut″ is a demand that the reader ″balance in the uneasy space between being a voyeur and a participant, gratifying our desire to get inside the head of that stranger we meet on the street…but on the other hand surprising us with the fact that you can never just be a witness, that you′re always going to somehow become involved in the other′s life, whether you mean to or not.″
“The workshop will be facilitated by English poet Clare Pollard.”
“When they laugh, people turn into something else entirely.”
“I’ve found that I translate best when the “I” gets out of the way and simply allows the process to happen through me—this is particularly true of poetry.”
“There is no shortage of varieties of shame: of body, of one’s sexuality or lack of sexuality, of modest or immodest dress, of impoverished dress, of ugliness, of age, of illness, of disability, of vanity, of religion, of doubting one’s religion, of being complicit with the regime, of Syrianness, of having no ‘important’ family roots, of people who talk incessantly about their roots.”
“Volume 1 tells of Ghali’s life in Rheydt, West Germany, providing unique insights from the perspective of an Egyptian immigrant on postwar Germany and shedding light on Ghali’s own writing and personality when he was at the peak of his depression. “
“Tandem promises an intensive one-year international exchange and EUR 5,000 start-up money for an initial project.”
“Your reason for translating this particular poem….”
“But my voice came back when the great poet Nizar al-Qabbani intervened after the festival[.]”
“There’s a whole range of work in there — 10 writers translated from 4 languages, of all ages; a lot of poetry, some funny fiction, some militant feminist Amazigh work, and so much in between.”