Arabic Literature, Greek Readers: Translations Have to Grow, ‘Because People Are Interested’

"Greek readers come to various presentations and it’s then you realize Arabic literature translations have to grow in Greece, because people are interested. They just need to get familiar with it."

(New York) Publisher: ‘Arabic After All Is a Controversial Language’

I have an unhealthy fascination with translational gossip. So when I was reading Edward Said's 1989 afterword to Elias Khoury's Little Mountain---an afterword I don't like, as it fixates on Naguib Mahfouz and then finally admits that Khoury has nothing to do with Mahfouz---this caught my eye: ...a few years ago [before Mahfouz won the … Continue reading (New York) Publisher: ‘Arabic After All Is a Controversial Language’

PalFest an ‘Attack on Arabic’?

Yesterday's  PalFest wrap-up in Al Jazeera, penned by Sousan Hammad, provides sharp criticism for this and other literary events in the region. Her main criticism is that core PalFest events---as at the big Abu Dhabi and Emirates lit festivals---take place in English. And at some PalFest events, unlike the Emirati festivals, simultaneous translation was apparently … Continue reading PalFest an ‘Attack on Arabic’?

Kotob Khan’s Arabic Bestsellers for April 2010

Thanks to Kotob Khan for making these available. Diwan also posts some bestsellers here, although their ranking or time frame isn't clear. I have not seen bestseller lists from other booksellers. Many of the titles are familiar from last month's list. A few are new: Mekkawi Said’s Downtown Acquisitions (3) is presumably a compilation of … Continue reading Kotob Khan’s Arabic Bestsellers for April 2010

Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 71-80

This is where you’ll find 1-10 (and an explanation of this project), and here’s 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, and 61-70. Please do help me out with errors and omissions. 71 Seventh day of Creation by Iraqi writer Abdel Khaliq al-Rikabi Al-Rikabi’s acclaimed novel Sabi’a Ayaam al-Khalq (Seventh Day of Creation) was excerpted in Banipal … Continue reading Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 71-80

Ahdaf Soueif on ‘Truer’ Translation

The award-winning author Ahdaf Soueif was the last to appear at this year's series of talks by translators at the American University in Cairo. And Soueif, unlike her predecessors in the series---Denys Johnson-Davies, Humphrey Davies, Jonathan Wright---seemed to studiously avoid discussing translation. In the past, Soueif has been a vocal critic of much Arabic-English translation. … Continue reading Ahdaf Soueif on ‘Truer’ Translation