271 entries in Mag: Articles

Introduction: Emerging German Writers

For a long time, a large photo hung above the stage at Berlin’s Literary Colloquium, shot by Renate von Mangoldt and showing a meeting of the writers’ group Gruppe 47 there in 1965. Rows and…...

Fighter

He doesn’t say that he had no choice. He says that his father was also a soldier. He says that if he had the choice today, he would perhaps choose differently. At that time he made his choice. My…...

Burundi: Writing from the State of Sleep

Burundi is a small East Central African nation on the northern edge of Lake Tanganyika, one of Africa’s Great Lakes, which holds almost one-fifth of the world’s entire fresh water supply. The…...

Lessons from the Human Zoo

In the 1950s, the behavioral scientist Desmond Morris carried out art experiments with the chimpanzee Congo. What began with a hesitant pencil line drawn by Congo soon led to expressive, powerful, abstract…...

Connections, Missed and Made: The Queer Issue

As I write, the Irish people have just approved a constitutional amendment in favor of same-sex marriage, the nineteenth country to recognize this right. In the US the television program Transparent, about…...

From “The Memory of a Secret”

What do we know about our parents? They’re never anything but parents. They do what parents do, listen but never speak. Help you up but they themselves stay down. One day you’ll start to wonder…...

Jerking Out of Rotation: Four Icelandic Poets

Given that its language is spoken by fewer than 350,000 people across the world, Iceland manages to publish an astonishing volume of poetry, reflecting the country’s nearly 100 percent literacy rate.…...

The Shape of Time: New Palestinian Writing

—Are you there? —Where? —Here? —You mean there? —I mean do you see the sea? —I see sand. —But do you see the sea? —I see time waiting for us. —You…...

A Map of Jerusalem

My grandmother’s house still stands. When she was born in the 1920s, the streets had no name. She said the earthquake parted them. And when my mother was born, two years after 1948, my grandmother…...

Changing Landscapes and Identities: An Introduction to Tamil Writing

Early Tamil literary theory and poetics, from around the beginning of the Christian era, classified the subject matter of all literature into two main genres, akam and puram. Akam refers to the inner world,…...

New Armenian Writing by Women: An Introduction

These are exciting times for Armenia. After seventy years of Soviet rule and twenty years of independence, a new generation is finally beginning to emerge. It is a generation that was born on the brink…...

On Memory: New Writing from Japan

This is the fourth issue of Words without Borders focusing on Japan (and the third supported by the British Centre for Literary Translation/Nippon Foundation partnership). For this issue we decided to…...

Mexico Interrupted

When we first proposed a feature on Mexico in April 2014, our idea was to shift thematically away from the Words without Borders Mexican Drug War Issue in 2012. Tapping into the celebratory mood…...

Contemporary Women’s Writing in Slovakia

Twenty-five years after the Velvet Revolution and over two decades since its “velvet divorce” from its bigger brother, the Czech Republic, in 1992, Slovakia—a country with a population…...

Around the Globe: An Introduction to International YA Writing

If you can get past the thick fog of casual snobbery that always seems to envelop this subject, it seems perfectly obvious that a lot of the most interesting writing happening in the English-speaking world…...

New Voices in Uruguayan Poetry

With only 3.4 million people, Uruguay is the smallest Spanish-speaking country in South America, but it has always been well-populated with poets. The Uruguayan poet Leo Masliah makes this clear in his…...

Not Necessarily About Politics: Contemporary Czech Prose

The Czechs are cultural overachievers. In film, photography, theater, architecture, music, art, they punch above their weight, with an impact far beyond what you’d expect from a nation of ten million…...

Walt Whitman and Me: Notes on a Poetic Education

To the poets of the Lebanese Journal Shi‘r   I know I’m about to write myself into another maze and I’m going to get lost in it. In my infancy there was my father, there was…...

Building a New World

I don’t know if people remember how they learned to read and write—or swim, or do cartwheels. I know that one day I wasn’t able to do these things, and the next day I was, even though…...

“The Fair-haired Princess” and Serious Literature

Father’s bookshelves were lined mostly with Marxist-Leninist books. I remember the titles on some of the spines. I can’t remember some others, because the words were too abstract. I loitered…...

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