On a sweltering July day in Amman, I left my friend’s apartment in Abdoun and made my way to Jabal Amman with nothing more than a set of vague coordinates plugged in to Google Maps to guide me. I was in search of Abdulrahman Munif’s childhood home.
Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
The great Palestinian writer, who lived many years in Iraq, remembers his friend Badr Shakir al-Sayyab.
A few photos from Jabra’s archives, from 1940s Jerusalem, and the same sites now.
“Would the original have sounded like Jabra’s English in Hunters in a Narrow Street, a product of the 1950s, in which the characters swoon and passionately exclaim ‘Darling!’? And if the original of Cry in a Long Night sounded like that, was I beholden to translating it back into such an idiom? Or did I owe my reader the language of 2022?”
This talk by literary historian Elizabeth Holt will explore the intersection of oil, modernism, and empire, to consider how pipelines and energy infrastructure curate Arabic literature.
“The wave of days rises / and recedes, bidding farewell to / shells of love and hate / upon the body / resounding with the echoes of words.”
“Usefully, the Banipal list is not just a list, but also includes brief introductions to both the works and their authors, as well as some contextualization.”
Yet Iraqi literature continues, somehow, to blossom. There are older writers Fadhil al-Azzawi and Muhammad Khudayyir still at work (although the former in exile), and much younger ones, too: Thirtysomething Iraqi Hassan Blassim has been called “perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive.”
I missed this in last week’s Al Ahram Weekly, but I suppose it wasn’t “timely” in any case: these are memories of a Palestinian who died in 1994 and whose […]