I am particularly enjoying the new Beirut-based publication Portal 9:
From Portal 9
Biography of My Childhood Imagination, by Hazem Saghieh
Children’s bedtime stories are the best stimulus of imagination, for what children learn is permanent and solid, like a stone carving.
The Hayyani Epistle, by Youssef Rakha
In an expression that could perhaps abbreviate the whole of Book of the Sultan’s Seal, Mustafa says: “The world has left a sickness in my heart, whose only cure might come from a journey through another world, or through not being – in this world – an Arab Muslim.”
Curiosity, by Hameady Hamood, trans. William M Hutchins
I wanted to know what had happened. What was the secret of the revolver in one hand and the piece of paper in the other? But I was ordered to leave the coffeehouse with the other patrons.
Dear God, Your Message Was Received in Error, by Fady Joudah
Did Ibn Rushd really not know what a play was? Or was he trying to translate the genre of theatre into that of poetry when he decided that ‘tragedy’ and ‘comedy’ would parallel ‘panegyric’ and ‘satire,’ respectively? Was this his early idea of “cultural translation”? Are these even important questions to ask here?
From Brooklyn Rail
“I was disturbed when I found trees sprouting out of my poem
From the Poetry Translation Centre