Fatema Mernissi (1940-2015)

Sad news this: Fatema Mernissi was a major voice for women inthe Maghreb over the years — I found that her books were also very useful to wake up my American students. Her memoir Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood is a must read. Thanks to Arab Literature (in English). BY MLYNXQUALEY on NOVEMBER 30, 2015 • ( 1 ) Born in 1940, in Fes, Mernissi was … Read more Fatema Mernissi (1940-2015)

“Ulysses already wanted to go to Europe:”

Raoul Schrott on the Mediterranean An excellent poet, translator (of the Odyssey & the Iliad, among others), essayist, travel writer, born in Germany and living today in Austria, Raoul Schrott, whom I have been reading for some 20 years now, is virtually unknown, because untranslated, in this country — which is a crying shame! In the context of a series of articles concerning the politics & cultures of the Mediterranean basin … Read more “Ulysses already wanted to go to Europe:”

Glasfryn Seminar: Two Angles on Modernism

These materials via Junction Box, where you can find the continuation of these two takes & a range of other fascinating materials. On March 28th 2015 a seminar was held at Glasfryn in Llangattock, Powys, on the subject of modernism. There were two presenters: Allen Fisher and Anthony Mellors. Fisher discussed developments in art dating from around 1850 with reference to the evolution of a recognisably modernist aesthetic, whilst Mellors … Read more Glasfryn Seminar: Two Angles on Modernism

PEN Gala: Political Correctness Gone Viral

That a half-dozen writers would counter the PEN proposal to correctly honor Charlie Hebdo with the Toni & James Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award & absent themselves from the Gala is explainable. As indeed Salman Rusdhie did explain their actions, despite the use of one inaccurate word. That nearly two hundred more (PEN-members? writers? fellow-travelers of what?) would jump on the bandwagon of this “boycott” via the net is … Read more PEN Gala: Political Correctness Gone Viral

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (18)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (18th installment) P a r t  I V The Western Exclusion of Islam 33 Now that I’ve come to the end of this book, written in urgency, I would like to enrich the “testimonies against intolerance” collected by Voltaire to form the fifteenth chapter of his Traité sur la tolérance with two verses from … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (18)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (17)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (17th installment) P a r t  I V The Western Exclusion of Islam 32  That is the sickness of Islam.  It has existed throughout history.  It exists now.  It is identifiable through the actions and words of the fundamentalists.  But I do not confuse Islam with its sickness, even if I can see … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (17)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (15)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (15th installment) P a r t  I V The Western Exclusion of Islam 30 Should we think back to the Ismailians when we recall the secrecy so complete in the conduct of the September 11th terrorists? In fact, the examples of dissimulation and disguise as concerns the Ismailian fidâ’is are just as impressive … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (15)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (14)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (14th installment) P a r t  I V The Western Exclusion of Islam 28 Sacrifice and secretiveness have often been mentioned in explaining how the terrorists acted on September 11.  We should be careful when analyzing these two characteristics, and not try to shed light on them only by invoking Islamic history and … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (14)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (13)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (13th installment) P A R T III Fundamentalism Against the West 27 I would like to take up again the question of the decline, and to understand the gap that separates ancient Islam from present Islam, to grasp the causes that led from splendor to wretchedness.  Bîrûni, you will recall, contrasts the elite … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (13)