Articles tagged "Meaning"


Writing Poems without Meaning

Sham-seeming life gauze-mask-like thoughts is there no removing the mask from consciouness? Disposing words without meaning Writing poems without meaning Writing poems like scraps of debris scraps of shattering…...

The Author’s Voice and the Translator’s

Recently, I traveled to Paris to assist my publisher there with the promotion of one of my novels that had been translated into French. Any excuse to visit Paris is a good excuse. It's easy to forget…...

The Fantasy and the Far-Out

Why do people want to listen to an author when they have their books? From time to time, I’m plagued by this question. The last week of May, the Third International Forum on the Novel took place…...

Letter from Iraq

The young captain sat on his bed and sighed. íThere are not too many people around here I can talk with,ë he said. íAll the young guys talk about is women and fighting.ë This is…...

A Treaty of Love

After my trip to Lebanon in the spring of 2007, I traveled to London to interview the Lebanese-Palestinian author Samir El-Youssef. El-Youssef has a beautiful and contagious laugh. That was the first thing…...

Truth and War Literature

As of Monday September 8, I’ve been teaching at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Not forever, thank God, just for one semester. One course that I’m teaching side-by-side with a…...

Reading Gregor von Rezzori

A Dutch newspaper asked me to review the recently published Dutch translation of Gregor von Rezzori’s Memoirs of an Anti-Semite. I have to admit that the name Rezzori vaguely rang a bell, but that…...

Writing the Train in Switzerland

Last summer, I worked for almost three weeks as a chambermaid in a family hotel in the southern part of Bavaria. I wrote about this experience in a daily column for a Dutch newspaper. Later, an extract…...

The Future of Literature

Two days after I left Iraq, I traveled to a small resort at the Black Sea for a writer’s conference about the future of literature. For some reason it seemed to me the right sequence: first Baghdad…...

The Background Noise in Iraq

Last week I was embedded with the 25th infantry division north of Baghdad in the so-called Sunni Triangle. Presently I’m in the Green Zone. A friend of mine in New York asked me to pay attention…...

The A to Z of Literary Translation: W, X, Y & Z

Worldwide web development and the long-tail phenomenon offer new opportunities for the visibility of literary translation. Electronic translation software is to be avoided. Postcolonial and new immigrant…...

Philosophy

Little spider, greet the sun. Don't be down. Give thanks, dear toad, that you are here. The hairy crabs, like roses, all have thorns, and mollusks are reminiscences of women. Know how to be what you…...

Pints with Roddy Doyle

The first time that I drank Guinness was also the first time that I met Roddy Doyle. It was the winter of 1997. My Dutch publisher and I had decided to meet in Dublin, which is halfway between New York…...

The Silence of the Outcasts: An Interview with Dacia Maraini

(Pescasseroli, Easter 2005) To meet with Dacia Maraini and speak with her in peace means going up to the bitter and severe lands of Abruzzo where the writer, who lives in Rome, takes refuge during holidays…...

The A to Z of Literary Translation: J to L

Jerome of Stridonium is the patron saint of theological learning in the Roman Catholic Church and is also recognized as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Remembered in particular for his version…...

Embedded in Iraq

While looking for something else, I recently stumbled upon Cynthia Ozick’s essay íPublic Intellectualsë in her collection Quarrel and Quandary. The essay itself is worth reading—as…...

The A to Z of Literary Translation

Whilst writing about English PEN's “Writers in Translation” committee, of which I am a member—tapping into my experiences as an editor, agent and publicist—the idea of doing…...

From behind a Closed Window

Is there, out there, a sky Sunny or windy or humid with autumn A sky at dawn, or a sunset sky? Are there, out there, human faces Strange or familiar Happy or hurting Friendly faces, or faces like beasts'?…...

The Utopian

I will find myself in a mirror My name in a line of poetry My destiny in a person I've never met Once I lay in the sun by the Caspian Sea Listening to songs of seaweed and foam A sleepwalker with nothing…...

Tired Theseus

You took down the pale blue garbage bag with yogurt caps, banana skins, colors like tired oil. So much remains after us by the morning, a streak of dust on the bathtub, lipstick on the tiles, your gaze…...

For the Voice of the Psalms

Hide me in the shadow of your wings, not to be seen in flight, when I would fly with you, not for the eyes is the wing, the eye breaks off the dove- feather on the upstretched muscles. Dirty guano is all…...

A Foot Patrol in Oruzgan, Afghanistan

Recently I flew from Afghanistan to the Netherlands along with some Dutch troops going on R&R for two weeks. A day later, I traveled to Paris to promote a book. The difference could not have been bigger.…...

Reading Bioy Casares

I had never heard the name Adolfo Bioy Casares until I read a lengthy review of his diaries in Times Literary Supplement What Eckermann was to Goethe, Mr. Bioy was to Jorge Luis Borges. He aspired to be…...

Unity of Form

I've always received kingly presents. I got worn-out pans and rusted teapots, patched up bedsheets and unstitched shirts, books, missing pages ripped out for rollies and a piano with knocked-out teeth…...

The Bonsai’s Boast

I, you mindless fools, am a pint-sized giant. Time passes me by, distance can't touch me, my breast is pure coral. All I need is water and thirst to decode the book of life. True greatness is in detail.…...

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