Uri Avnery (1923-2018)

  Very saddened to learn this morning that Uri Avnery has died at 94. His weekly column which I read religiously — no, that’s the wrong word, though “irreligiously” won’t do either — as soon as his email appeared in my inbox, & which I often reposted on this blog, was one of the most insightful, intelligent, knowledgeable, and sanest analyses of the Israel/Palestine situation I knew of. He … Read more Uri Avnery (1923-2018)

Aretha Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018)

  A collection of Aretha links America was always at its best when Aretha Franklin’s voice was the loudest in the room. We got one last reminder of that in the shadow of her passing, as a word one never associates with modern social media began to trend: Respect. David Remnick in The New Yorker: “Aretha Franklin’s voice was a pure, painful, and unforgettable expression of American history and … Read more Aretha Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018)

An Excerpt from Inès Abbassi’s ‘Bourguiba House’

via ArabLit: As Women in Translation Month (#WITMonth) continues, we have a excerpt from Inès Abbassi’s Manzel Bourguiba (Bourguiba House), winner of the Arabic Jury Prize from the Golden Comar, Tunisia’s top literary Prize: The excerpt and book summary are translated by Sawad Hussain. The book is: A tale of Habib and Nur Al-Din, two Tunisian brothers who migrate to the US in the seventies, at a time when most Tunisians … Read more An Excerpt from Inès Abbassi’s ‘Bourguiba House’

Planet at risk of heading towards irreversible “Hothouse Earth” state

Joint Press Release by the Stockholm Resilience Center, University of Copenhagen, Australian National University and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research 07/08/2018 Keeping global warming to within 1.5-2°C may be more difficult than previously assessed. An international team of scientists has published a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) showing that even if the carbon emission reductions called for in the Paris Agreement are … Read more Planet at risk of heading towards irreversible “Hothouse Earth” state

Happy birthday, Mostafa Nissabouri!

Today is the birthday of the great Moroccan poet Mostafa Nissabouri. Here, the little commentary we published to accompany his work in Habib Tengour’s & my North African — Poems for the Millennium anthology: “Born in 1943, Mostafa Nissabouri is a core representative of contemporary francophone Moroccan poetry, co-founder — with Abdellatif Laâbi & Mohamed Khair-Eddine — of the great avant-garde 1960s magazine Souffles, & was later editor of Intégral. Writes James … Read more Happy birthday, Mostafa Nissabouri!

9 in 2018: Best of New Translated Arabic Lit by Women

via Arab Lit in English: As Women in Translation Month (#WITMonth) opens, we list nine of the best women’s works translated from Arabic to English and published in 2018: Three best of nonfiction It has been a tremendous year for translations of nonfiction by Arab women, usually a space that sees little movement. From Arwa Salih’s political theory to Dunya Mikhail’s poetic journalism to Radwa Ashour’s rihla, these are three that … Read more 9 in 2018: Best of New Translated Arabic Lit by Women

Pierre Joris: Voix Vives de méditerranée en méditerranée

Nicole Peyrafitte & I will be at the Voix Vives de méditerranée en méditerranée Festival in Sète from Saturday 21 to Saturday 28 July, reading/performing on a daily basis — in the company of some eighty poets from around the Mediterranean & beyond. Below, my reading schedule. I will also post Nicole’s &/or possibly a combined version. You can find the whole program & further information on the festival  here. … Read more Pierre Joris: Voix Vives de méditerranée en méditerranée

Summer Reading for All: Spinoza on Freedom of Thought in a Free State

I am re-reading this final chapter of Bento Spinoza’s Tractatus  — an important text right now! — in a friend’s house where I found it in a lovely little French edition published by Cahiers de l’Herne, & decided to post an english translation below. Enjoy! IN A FREE STATE EVERY ONE IS AT LIBERTY TO THINK AS HE PLEASES, AND TO SAY WHAT HE THINKS. If it were as … Read more Summer Reading for All: Spinoza on Freedom of Thought in a Free State

Poet Galal El-Behairy’s ‘Letter from Tora Prison’

via ArabLit: Ahead of the expected verdict for imprisoned Egyptian poet Galal El-Behairy, ArabLit — like PEN centers around the world — is sharing a work El-Behairy wrote in prison: El-Behairy was arrested more than three months ago, on March 3, 2018, on charges related to his most recent book of poems, خير نسوان الأرض, The Finest Women on Earth (2018) and lyrics he wrote for Ramy Essam’s song “Balaha.” A campaign against him … Read more Poet Galal El-Behairy’s ‘Letter from Tora Prison’

Uri Avnery: Are You Brainwashed?

[PJ: & this applies just as well to the US than to Israel/Gaza] June 9, 2018 IT’S FRIGHTENING. Unprincipled psychologists, in the service of a malignant regime, use sophisticated techniques in order to control the mind of a person from afar. The term “brainwashing” was born in 1950. It is a Chinese word (“xinao”, literally wash brain). Originally it served to describe a technique used – so it was … Read more Uri Avnery: Are You Brainwashed?