Posts Tagged ‘Beirut 39’

“To me all literature is Arabic literature because I read it in Arabic”

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Adania Shibli, whose wonderful Touch Clockroot released in March, seems often to have such pithy, precise thoughts on translation (see here)—its limits, its futility, its urgency.  We regret not being able to head to London ourselves to see Adania at the Free the Word/International PEN festival, but you can find a write-up of one of her events here—a co-event with Ala Hlehel, who as we noted the other week, was the other honoree of the Beirut 39 unable to attend the festival in Beirut.

… what could be more uplifting than Adania’s answer to the final question about what Arabic literature influenced her. ‘To me, all literature is Arabic literature, because I read it in Arabic and therefore I feel it is Arabic. Tolstoy and Shakespeare – they are Palestinians!’

Adania Shibli in London: Why Does Translation into English Matter?

Friday, April 16th, 2010

As per our earlier post, and this update, Adania Shibli cannot be in Beirut for the Beirut 39 festival, but she is participating in a number of wonderful events surrounding the London Book Fair. Those of you in the UK, be sure to check them out:

Join Adania and many other superb festival writers at International PEN’s Free the Word! literary lunch, Sunday, April 18, at the Young Vic.

And on April 19 at the London Book Fair, see the panel “Why Does Translation into English Matter?”, with Adania, Bill Swainson (senior editor, Bloomsbury), Amanda Hopkinson (professor, University of East Anglia), Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo, and Marlene Van Niekerk, moderated by Ros Schwartz:

What does it mean to an international writer to be translated into the English language? An increased readership, certainly, and a moment of recognition. But what are the wider artistic implications?

How do translators interpret their role and responsibility? What are the rewards of translating literature into English, and how central is contemporary literature in translation to the cultural consciousness of this country? What is its significance for the UK publishing industry?

English PEN brings together an international panel to discuss the literary, personal, and cultural importance of being translated into English.

Shibli blocked from Beirut festival

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

After flying across the country and arriving in Denver for one big gathering of writers, we just learned the distressing news that Adania Shibli and Ala Hlehel, both Israeli Arab writers, won’t be allowed to travel to Beirut next week to participate in the Beirut39 festival, where their writing is being honored. (They’ll receive their awards in London instead, on April 15.)

This isn’t the first time this has happened to Adania. We’ll post later the wonderful essay she wrote the last time this happened to her —it seems to have been taken off the web. Not to attribute anything sinister.

Now we’ve got a bookfair to attend, where  our complaints about sketchy internet connections and smashed cartons of books now seem small.

Adania Shibli and the Beirut 39

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Adania Shibli, whose Touch is forthcoming very soon, is part of the “Beirut 39″—39 writers from the Arab world who are under 39 years old, and will be featured at a festival in Beirut in April. Here’s “Not an Interview” with Adania on the Beirut 39 blog.