This week, El Pais features the work of the Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish. A number of his books of poetry have been translated from Arabic into Spanish, including Menos rosas, Estado de sitio, and Mural. Darwish, born to Muslim parents in Al-Birwa, faced exile to Egypt, France, Lebanon, and Tunisia as a result of his writing and political involvment. Ángel Rupérez elaborates on Darwish’s ability to take on the rather tricky task of crafting poems that approach political subjects:
La mejor poesía social y política es ésta, la que denuncia sin renunciar a la ambición artística…el resultado es una indiscutible y artística complejidad.
(The best social and political poetry is this, that which denounces without renouncing artistic ambition…the result is an unquestionable and artistic complexity.)
Stuart Reigeluth contributes an accompanying article that provides much more information concerning Darwish’s political life. Reigeluth writes that, despite exile, incarceration, and censorship, Darwish, “without accusing any one group, spoke about how the prolonged Israeli occupation has divided Palestine.”
You can find both articles in their original Spanish versions here.
Darwish’s official website has more information about the poet, including his biography, audio clips of Darwish reading his poetry in Arabic, and a listing of his books that have been translated into English.
Despite cries that literature is dead, dying, and self-replicating in the worst way, once in a while a book comes along to remind readers that there’s still a lot of surprise to be found on the printed page. To be. . .
“I was small. And my village was small, I came to know that in time. But when I was small it was big for me, so big that when I had to cross it from one end to the other,. . .
A few weeks after moving into a farm house in the Welsh countryside, Emilie, an expatriate from the Netherlands, starts to think about her uncle. This uncle tried to drown himself in a pond in front of the hotel where. . .
Think back to the last adventure- or action-type book you read. Wasn’t it cool? Didn’t it make you want to do things, like learn to shoot a crossbow, hack complicated information systems, travel to strange worlds, take on knife-wielding thugs,. . .
In Aira’s Shantytown, while we’re inside the characters’ heads for a good portion of the story, the voice we read on the page is really that of Aira himself, as he works out the plot of the book he’s writing.. . .
Noir is not an easy genre to define—or if it once was, that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away; as a quick guess, maybe Silver Lake, Los Angeles, 1935. When two books as different as. . .
Some time ago I read this phrase: “The page is the only place in the universe God left blank for me.”
Pedro Mairal’s short novel The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra is more about these blank spaces than the usual full. . .
“What if even in the afterlife you have to know foreign languages? Since I have already suffered so much trying to speak Danish, make sure to assign me to the Polish zone . . .”
So reads a typical aphoristic “poem”. . .
If you somehow managed to overlook the 2012 translation of Andrés Neuman’s breathtaking Traveler of the Century (and woe betide all whom continue to do so), you now have two exceptional works of fiction from the young Argentine virtuoso demanding. . .
It is destined that we will all become our parents. Some try to avoid it while others embrace the metamorphosis. Either way, it never fails— children eventually become their parents. A Fairy Tale is a psychological novel told through day-to-day. . .