Earlier this week, organizers announced the literary lineup of the fourth annual Palestine Festival of Literature, popularly known as PalFest. The traveling festival is set to run from April 15-20, stopping at locations in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Jenin, Ramallah, and elsewhere.
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’?
Seven and a half minutes from the closing night.
PalFest wrapped up yesterday with a final event at the African Community Society in Jerusalem. I haven't seen video or tweets about the event, but each participant was set to read "a passage that means something personal to them." The one wrap-up article I did find was from NYTimes correspondent Ethan Bronner, who talks about … Continue reading PalFest Wraps Up With Personal Readings
In his Day 2 blog on the PalFest website, author William Sutcliffe writes about his reading, given in a Turkish bath, and about what being in Palestine has taught him about humor: As a writer who has spent most of my career pursuing comic fiction, worrying away at the nexus between laughter and pain that … Continue reading PalFest Day 2: Palestine Like a Humor-writing Masterclass
According to the PalFest Facebook group, "The PalFest group was detained for six hours at the border. But now they're through and the show will begin!" And indeed it did. PalFest posted dozens of photos from Day One; these included time on the bus, landscape shots, and photos of the event at the Palestinian National … Continue reading PalFest Day One: Detained 6 Hours at the Border, but Show Goes On
The Palestinian Festival of Literature kicks off May 1 at the Palestinian National Theater in Jerusalem; it will continue through May 6, and makes its way through Nablus, Jenin, Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah. But PalFest is not an ordinary literary festival; this festival contends with checkpoints, soldiers, and shutdowns. Authors are not there to connect … Continue reading Ahdaf Soueif on the Origins of PalFest
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