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Love, Literally

February 2005

Yes, we know a love issue in February is a bit trite–still, our featured writers are anything but. In Hafid Bouazza’s “Paravion” and Najem Wali’s “Edward and the First Geography Lesson,” erotic love is twinned with an even stronger obsession with travel and escape. Love is soaked in memory in Luminita Mihai Cioaba’s soulful Gypsy peregrinations in “The Lost Country,” Franziska Gerstenberg’s Russian-romanced “Borschtsch,” and Alawiyya Subuh’s bottomless Lebanese well of emotion in “Maryam of the Stories.” There is the weird fetishism and sly humor of Fatima Yousef Al-Ali’s “A Man’s Staff” and Calvino-esque fabulism of the spirals of Alberto Ruy-Sánchez’s “Secret Gardens of Mogador.” Our new poetry editor, Ilya Kaminsky, has shared with us some of his own passions: the great Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva; David Young and Jiann I. Lin’s new translations of Tang master Du Mu on the agony of lost love; and Chilean Oscar Hahn’s elegy for the end of summer and other old flames.