243 entries in Mag: Articles

Slaves of Moscow

On October 30, 2012, a group of civil society activists in Moscow freed twelve slaves from the Produkty grocery store, owned by a Kazakhstani couple, Zhansulu Istanbekova and her husband, Saken Muzdybayev.…...

Gastarbeiter

The year is 1994. A pale intellectual arrives at the Munich train station with a small suitcase and many hopes. This is Germany—blossoming, as orderly as a village home expecting guests, a country…...

The Gold Watch

Fifty years ago, when Turkish guest workers came to Germany and telephone calls were expensive, people recorded audio tapes and gave them to friends and acquaintances traveling to Turkey. On these tapes…...

Horsemeat of the Brothel

Yan, thirty-one, was born in a small fishing town in Fujian province, China. Although wealthy Fujianese expatriates are notorious for the extravagant ceremonies they perform in honor of their ancestors,…...

Queens Football

Mauricio Álvarez, better known as La Madison, takes a small mirror from his bag. As he combs his wispy bleached blonde hair, he says he realized he was gay at the age of seven, while reading a Superman…...

Safely Home: Short Prose from the Netherlands and Flanders

This issue presents writing by Dutch and Flemish writers exploring the intrusion of the forbidden, the illegal, the unspoken into people’s lives and homes. What fears and taboos reside there? What…...

The Lonely Word: Three Poems by Liu Xia

Since 2010, Chinese security agents have kept artist and poet Liu Xia imprisoned in her Beijing home, isolating her from friends and allowing her only occasional, chaperoned forays into the outside world.…...

Poets of Protest

Manal Al-Sheikh and Mazen Maarouf, two poets living in exile in Scandinavia, appear in the Al Jazeera-produced documentary series Poets of Protest, directed by British filmmaker Roxana Vilk.  The…...

An Introduction to New Venezuelan Writing

It surely is far from good manners to start an introduction with a caveat, but if the subject to be addressed is related to Venezuela, as this one is, it also may be dishonest, even slightly deceitful,…...

Viva Translation!

In 2010 the acclaimed American writer Lydia Davis published a new English translation of Gustave Flaubert’s acclaimed novel Madame Bovary. The convergence of so much acclaim did not, of course, go…...

Breaking the Taboo: Turkish Writers Face the Kurdish Past

Istanbul is a booming city these days. Neighborhoods where no one used to venture after dark become “in” areas full of restaurants, cafés, and art  galleries;  old, decrepit…...

The Ship-breakers

1 Shuel is eighteen years old, in a checked shirt hanging loose over his trousers, and with the trusting smile of a child to whom nobody has ever done any harm. Shuel and I are sunk up to our ankles in…...

Painting the Occupation

What did Suleiman Shakir paint? An abandoned house. An old man on a donkey. Children picking daffodils. The pictures didn’t need captions. Everyone knew what he was trying to tell them about the…...

Kyrgyzstan: Shade and Shadow

No Bukhara, no Samarkand, no meaning, just bare life in the rarefied air. That had been what I was after. A clarity of existence. To see sand sifting through the post-imperial rust. That would be enough…...

Words with Borders: Writing from the Oulipo

As the prevailing image used by book reviewers to praise literary translations is that of transparency—limpid, pellucid, crystalline—it seems clear, so to speak, how ready we are to think of…...

The Stations of the Cry

This is the tale of a lengthy journey. A step-by-step journey, one inspired by a misfortune that took place in the court of the Hungarian Prince Esterházy, in November 1772, in the city of Esterháza.…...

To sleep, perchance to dream

Censorship We know that the earliest readers of Remembrance of Things Past objected to the length of its incipit narration of its hero’s noddings-off and nocturnal (and diurnal) reveries. A gentleman…...

Infinity, Minus Forty Yearly Installments: Noun Complements (1972–2012)

1. In September 1972, funded by a scholarship, I took the Orient Express to Vienna. Sixteen-hour journey, upper bunk. Less than enthusiastic about sharing a room in the student hostel, I looked for a studio…...

The Life You Save May Be Your Own

Canada Dry Spoonerisms 1. A Sicilian caterwauls, except in Apulia. 2. The archaeologist’s wife does love a serious excavation. 3. How adroit you are with your crocuses! 4. The seafarer takes a pruning…...

Biting their Mother Tongue: Three Sudanese Short Stories about Estrangement

The three short stories collected here offer a glimpse into contemporary Sudanese understandings of estrangement, a theme with a long history in Arabic letters. From the pre-Islamic renegade poets who…...

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