Yalo Discussion Forum

By The Editors

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I can appreciate your frustration with trying to write an essay but I think this can be an asset. Yalo is a novel about a real war, in Lebanon, without a seeming end (or even beginning) and about people within that war.  A good way to make sense of the novel’s structure is by, literally, reflecting on your own frustration. The staccato structure, the quick turns from past to present or from third person to first person or from long sentences to short sentences or from interior monologue to external narrative: all these are designed to frustrate readers so that they are drawn into the emotional world of someone in great conflict. Khoury doesn’t want the reader to simply acknowledge the distress about which he writes but rather to inhabit that distress. The writer has to choose how best to effect this state of mind – technique is the obvious solution.  I hope that the details about this technique in my introduction will underscore some of Khoury’s methods. You might look at critical works written about the modern Arabic novel or about Khoury’s work in general. Also, a look through the WWB interview with Peter Theroux, Yalo’s very thoughtful translator, will highlight other approaches.
COMMENT: Is there a Russian translation or version of Alexei Bayer’s “Translating to and From a Native Language”? If so it could literally help me to save my marriage.
DATE: 04/05/2009 10:16:11 PM

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