HABIB TENGOUR : TWO EVENTS
ALGERIAN POET HABIB TENGOUR, NOTABLE NORTH AFRICAN LITERARY FIGURE, WILL BE FEATURED IN A DOUBLE PROGRAM ORGANISED BY THE NEW YORK STATE WRITERS INSTITUE & THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT IN COLLABORATION WITH LLC.
Mar. 30 (Mon.): 3:00-4:00 p.m., HU 354:
“THE CURRENT STATE OF LITERATURE IN NORTH AFRICA.”
A presentation by the Algerian poet novelist & sociologist Habib Tengour in dialogue with Pierre Joris.
Mar. 31 (Tuesday): 4:15 p.m. Reading | Science Library 340
Habib Tengour, writer and sociologist, born in Mostaganem (Algeria) in 1947, lives and works between Constantine and Paris, where he teaches at the Université d’Evry Val d’Essonne. His work draws upon many sources in Algerian culture, including history, mythology, religion, popular culture, traditional music, and the experience of exile. He writes in French.
UAlbany English Professor, translator of Tengour, and 2005 winner of the PEN Poetry in Translation prize, Pierre Joris has called Tengour, “one of the Maghreb’s most forceful and visionary poetic voices of the post-colonial era.” Regina Keil-Sagawe, author of a book-length study on Tengour’s work, writes: “The double vision of poet and ethnologist achieves surprising symbioses, for Tengour, the cynical observer of his society, proposes through his narratives a fragmented chronicle of post-colonial Algeria under the dismal light of History or of myth.”
Tengour’s works available in English translation include the poetry collection “Empedokles’s Sandal” (1999), and the narrative poem “The Old Man of the Mountain,” contained in Pierre Joris’ book 4X1 (2003). The poem sequence “Café Marine” is forthcoming in English in late 2009.
Author of an influential “Manifesto of Maghrebian Surrealism” in 1981, Tengour explores Algerian cultural identity and memory as they are being “mestizoed” and woven between Orient and Occident, especially under the impact of the experiences of exile and migration.
Major prose works include the trilogy Le Vieux de la Montagne (1983), Sultan Galiev ou La Rupture des Stocks (1982), & L’Epreuve de l’Arc (1990), written in a form adapted from the Arabic “maqama” genre mixing prose & poetry; “Gens de Mosta” (1997), a linked sequence of short stories; and the novel Le Poisson de Moïse (2001). His poetry includes the volumes Ce Tatar-là (1999), Epreuve 2 (2002), Gravité de l’ange (2004) and L’Arc et la cicatrice (2006).
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.