946 entries in Mag: Articles

The Witness

He rested in wildflower-whelmed cemeteries in the yards of wooden churches. —José Antonio Ramos Sucre, “El peregrino de la fe” When I chanced upon a weblog, whose text was also…...

The Stone Guest

Suhrob Surataliyev’s friends used to tease him by calling him Zurab Tsereteli. Suhrob was a sculptor by trade, but he was somewhat less of a household name than the popular Tsereteli, whose oversized…...

The Curse of the South

“Two kinds of people live in this city: The ones who were born here, and those who came here, fleeing something. Me, I wasn’t born here!” When his fever peaked and he started to sweat,…...

The Latch

On the thirteenth night of his marriage, sixteen-year-old Mannuram Chidimar is sleeping with his back turned to his fifteen-year-old bride, Sunwati. Sleeping with Sunwati is proving more torturous than…...

Candy

After leaving the Pajero at the district headquarters, the personal assistant and I headed out on foot. A village road. Dirt and dust. A horrid stench. Shit and dung. Why had the villages become so filthy?…...

Chicago: Present-Day Paradise, Future Magic

The great Iraqi writer Mahmoud Saeed was imprisoned in Iraq six times between 1959 and 1980. He left Iraq in 1985 and has lived in Chicago since 1999. He wrote this essay on the eve of his departure to…...

On the Fourth Day

He arrived on a golden-yellow tricycle and offered to tow me. Frail sexagenarian, sickly thin frame, angular face, his craggy skin suggesting an old case of the chickenpox. A lightly broken-in cowboy hat…...

Bag of the Nation

I took the big bag that I had inherited from my grandfather down from the attic. It was brightly colored like a storm of rainbows. I hoisted it onto my back and went out into the street. I closed my eyes…...

An Introduction to Finnish Literature

Finland is an enlightened modern Nordic welfare state, wired, highly literate and technologically advanced. Finland is also the most sparsely inhabited country in the European Union, mostly covered in…...

Letter to Lethe

Just so you know, my beloved daughter, they tell me I was a charming man, the kind of witty rascal whose arms women had the bad habit of throwing themselves into. “You would have liked yourself,”…...

The Message Bearer

In the entrance hall of the library the children’s coats let off the damp smell of an autumn day. The patter of feet, the giggling of girls, the scrapping of boys: the sounds filled the quiet space…...

The Weight of Words

The finger of fate pushed Miss Götha Traub into Belgian Wallonia at the end of the 1930s, leaving her stranded there when, with lightning speed, the Wehrmacht occupied the country. She had come to…...

Final Appearance

That winter afternoon, just before the flyover and exit for the city of S—, E. suddenly saw a broad, dark shadow cross the beam of his headlights. The back-end of a truck! Such was his perception.…...

The White Room

Daylight and color are to be avoided, says Padima. No troubling pictures and patterns, no colorful details that your gaze gravitates toward. The room is to be clear and peaceful, and as bare as possible.…...

Easy as Flushing

Perttu needed to poop. That’s how it had been, the situation, all weekend. But nothing would come out. He stared out the train window, vaguely expressing his discomfort. The crushingly somber pinewood…...

from “When the Doves Disappeared”

1941 Tallinn The grain warehouses were burning, the sky grew columns of smoke. Buses, trucks and cars filled the roads, their worn tires screaming like the people were, screaming to get away. And then…...

from “Finnhits”

Are you completely sure I feel like listening? Have you thought it through carefully and concluded that on Friday at 4:54 PM I'm going to feel like taking in one more life story that starts deep in…...

Panda

“Oh well,” I said, “Then it’s probably gonna be a panda.” “We can’t really settle on ‘probably,’” said the guy. “We need a firm commitment.”…...

The Rat

1 This is impossible, Tamara Pavlivna convinces herself, it’s impossible. I live on the seventh floor of a brick building, and the seventh floor—it’s gotta be too high for him. He couldn’t…...

April 2045: The Hole

Bazyl the gravedigger sat on a pile of earth that he himself had created and, as usual, smoked his cheap cigarettes. His short-cropped hair was completely gray. His arms, bony and covered in thick veins,…...

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