In Celebration of Amjad Nasser, a Poet Who ‘Mourns Himself While Still Alive’

Via the always excellent ArabLit came the news this morning of Amjad Nasser’s illness. I met him many years ago, in Paris, & he & his writing were immediately very close to me. It was he who sent me a xerox of the out-of-print English translation of Niffari’s Book of Stations, a sufi concept — the station, the maw’qif — that would become essential to a core aspect of my … Read more In Celebration of Amjad Nasser, a Poet Who ‘Mourns Himself While Still Alive’

Nicole Peyrafitte & Pierre Joris @ Austin International Poetry Festival

We are almost in Austin after an exhilarating  drive through America and some memorable visits — special mentions to Serpent Mound and to Paris, Kentucky; you can find the documentation of these moments on my Instagram & Facebook pages. We are ready & very much looking forward to an intense 4 days of poetry readings & performances, reconnecting with old friends & meeting new ones. Below, our specific reading … Read more Nicole Peyrafitte & Pierre Joris @ Austin International Poetry Festival

Speechgrille — A Celan Poem for World Poetry Day

Yesterday I finished reworking my translation of Paul Celan’s poem “Speechgrille |Sprachgitter,” from the eponymous 1959 volume. Let me offer it here on World Poetry Day (as — rare occasion! — a second post on the same day on Nomadics blog). I will also add my commentary which takes off from Barbara Wiedemann’s in her German edition of The Collected Poems of Paul Celan. This translation will be published … Read more Speechgrille — A Celan Poem for World Poetry Day

On Mahmoud Darwish Day, 13 Poems

via the always excellent ArabLit (Arabic Literature and Translation): The towering, generation-defining Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) was born on this day in al-Birwa. To commemorate his entrance into our world on a March 13, we have excerpts from 13 poems and poemtexts. Follow the links for the more complete works: 1) “The Moon Did Not Fall Into the Well,” from  Journal of an Ordinary Grief, tr. Ibrahim Muhawi Muhawi’s translations … Read more On Mahmoud Darwish Day, 13 Poems

Dante, Sollers, Paradise & A Neologism

Sunday afternoon reading in Philippe Sollers & Josyane Savigneau’s Une conversation infinie which Nicole brought back for me from Paris. Page 18, Sollers speaks of Dante: “In the Divine Comedy, Dante often invents new words; he is in the process of inventing Italian, to which one has to go back in his version of things. A very great love story, The Divine Comedy.Among other things he invents a word … Read more Dante, Sollers, Paradise & A Neologism

6 Poems: The Self-translations of Sargon Boulus

via Arabic Literature and Translation: The poet-translator Mona Kareem has an essay up in The Babel Review of Translations, issue D9: The essay, “He Goes to the Place: Sargon Boulus Translates Himself and Others,” is accompanied by five translations: two where Boulus translates himself, two of Auden, and one to make you read Derek Walcott’s “Love after Love” afresh. They are all side-by-sides and make their own masterclass in translation. As Kareem … Read more 6 Poems: The Self-translations of Sargon Boulus

Foucault: the Words, the Things, the End of Man.

When, in 1967, I came to the US, I carried with me a relatively small number of books, but among them was Michel Foucault’s Les Mots et les Choses, published the previous year by Gallimard. I had been reading at it since it came out & it is certainly one of the books that marked me the most. The disappearance of Man — with what to replace it, I … Read more Foucault: the Words, the Things, the End of Man.

Paul Celan: “An hour, lapped up by wolves”

An excerpt from Microliths They are, Little Stones (the Collected Posthumous Prose) by Paul Celan, translated by Pierre Joris [This is one of Celan’s rare forays into prose/fiction & dates most likely from the early fifties.]   121 An hour, lapped up by wolves — in these parts one knows all too well what that means. Grey, wolf-grey it creeps up, unnoticed it sneaks up on you, crouches behind a last, halting … Read more Paul Celan: “An hour, lapped up by wolves”

A Look at 99 Books: Algerian Literature in English Translation

via ArabLit /Arabic Literature and Translation: Which Algerian books have been translated to English, which haven’t, and which should be? By Nadia Ghanem As Algeria approaches another momentous step in its political history with a presidential election that, like Brexit, could happen or not but probably yes rather than not, what better time than to plunge into the fiction of Algerian novelists who have played, like their counterparts everywhere, … Read more A Look at 99 Books: Algerian Literature in English Translation

Rosa Luxemburg & Karl Liebknecht: Murdered 100 Years Ago Today — & Paul Celan’s Poem “You Lie.”

Her corpse was found only 4 months after her assassination, in the Landwehrkanal in Berlin where her murderers had thrown her on January 15 1919. The place is memorialized by a sculpture (you’ll see at the end of the video below). She was shot together with Karl Liebknecht (whose body was delivered anonymously to a morgue) — the two being socialists (& the founders of the Spartacus League) during the … Read more Rosa Luxemburg & Karl Liebknecht: Murdered 100 Years Ago Today — & Paul Celan’s Poem “You Lie.”