Interview with Jerome Rothenberg & Pierre Joris

from: Poetry Project Newsletter: November 18, 2015 In the exploration of borders and boundaries of poetry, I can think of no better guides than Jerome Rothenberg and Pierre Joris. They both graciously agreed to participate in a discussion of what’s happening in poetry at the moment– poetry as outsidered, what identity can mean, where and why boundaries are erected and dismantled. Following are excerpts from an email exchange I … Read more Interview with Jerome Rothenberg & Pierre Joris

German Peace Prize for Syrian poet Adonis?

Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, just published an article on its website which I am reproducing below. Ever since the announcement that Adonis was to receive the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize of the city of Osnabrück, unease has been expressed vocally by some who feel that Adonis has not been loud enough in his criticism of the Assad regime. Details of this criticism can be read in the article below. I … Read more German Peace Prize for Syrian poet Adonis?

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

Amjad Nasser: ‘We Have to Listen More to Reality Than We Used To’

by mlynxqualey Amjad Nasser is not Amjad Nasser: “Amjad Nasser” is the pen name of a poet, journalist, travel-writer, and novelist who was forced to leave his native Jordan when he was just 21. After that, he lived in Beirut and Cyprus, working as a journalist and poet, finally ending up in London in 1987. Since then, he has carried multiple identities, some of which can be glimpsed in his debut novel, Land … Read more Amjad Nasser: ‘We Have to Listen More to Reality Than We Used To’

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 (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)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (12)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (12th installment) P A R T III Fundamentalism Against the West 25 It was such an indoctrination that reanimated a caricature version of a Medinese utopia in the Afghanistan of the Taliban.  The ridiculous regime of the Afghan mullahs was judged by Osama bin Laden to be the unique earthly realization of the … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (12)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (11)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (11th installment) P A R T III Fundamentalism Against the West 23 The second effort at re-Islamization is visible through the transformation of the social body in its relation to pleasure and enjoyment.  Islamic society went from a hedonist tradition, based on love of life, to a prudish reality, full of hatred of … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (11)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (8)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (8th installment) P A R T II A Genealogy of Fundamentalism 17 In 750 the Abbasids unseated the Umayyads by trying to charge the function of the caliph with sacred character through the spiritual legitimacy conferred by belonging to the “people of the house.” This lineage had been forged by a descent which … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (8)

Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (6)

The Malady of Islam by Abdelwahab Meddeb translated from the French by Pierre Joris and Charlotte Mandell (6th installment) P A R T II A Genealogy of Fundamentalism 12 The movement that tried to take power in the lifetime of Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab came to nothing. The troops of the viceroy of Egypt’s, Mohammed ‘Ali (1769-1848), managed to chase the Wahhabites from the Hejaz after a violent campaign. (Jacques Berque … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb: The Malady of Islam (6)