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Articles tagged "Beauty"

Babel in Paris

Babel loved plump women. Where there’s lots of flesh there’s lots of sweetness. Lots of warmth, heat, tenderness, there’s a caress of sunshine and a velvety splash of the sea. In the damp, spongy folds of skin and in the large soft breasts, whether at rest or swaying gently in motion, there’s the comfort of a gently rocking cradle. French women—take your pick—were thin and wiry, coquettish and agile like monkeys.Hard to keep your eye on them. They...

Tilism-e-Hoshruba

One of the earliest accounts of the magical arts practiced in the Islamic world is found in the fourteenth-century work the Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun, acknowledged as the first work on the philosophy of history and the social sciences. Ibn Khaldun devoted several pages to the definition of magic, from which we learn that its practice is viewed in the Islamic tradition as a science—not based in pagan rituals of sacrifice to gods and goddesses but requiring instead a command of a...

Spring

Spring this year arrived as clean as if in its Sunday best, and we felt embarrassed that we were still in our work clothes, our hands unwashed, with the dog in the barnyard mangy and shedding. And we didn't know whom to blame, Spring or ourselves, for being out of step. Beauty, says the old schoolteacher, should arrive unexpected, and cause a little discomfort. Translation of an untitled poem in the series "Maijs" [May] in Poēma par pienu [Poem of Milk]....

The Century Carver

Kopag dropped his sharp chiseling knife, almost slicing open his own leg—and all because he'd detected a strange smell coming from the direction of the door, an aroma of dry leaves and damp wood. Odd, where was it coming from, this smell that made him feel so agitated? It wafted closer. "Who's there?" "It's me, Srenggi." "Srenggi? Srenggi who?!" Kopag was trembling with trepidation now. The smell was coming closer and he was finding it hard to breathe. His hands...

The Well is Someone’s Home

each time i dig into the well i never reach the bottom. i pass endless broken fragments of age. my breath is too short to climb all the way down, and my gaze too blind to fathom the top. hundreds of prayers fall to earth turning into songs among the barely audible bells. i call to myself as i disappear in thick dreams. i answer in restless whispers. painful moans write a biography of torn wounds for the scattering sands. have i dug so far and deep? only so that my womb can preserve a...

The Karma Some Girls Have

By the time the lights went out, they felt as if they were yelling at each other, or that was what they would have said if someone had asked them to measure the violence of their argument. But in truth they weren't yelling, and none of the neighbors could hear them, which was something that they had not bothered to think about. Perhaps earlier, when it had all started, it might have worried them, as it always did, but they had reached that point when people say things they don't...

The A to Z of Literary Translation: W, X, Y & Z

Worldwide web development and the long-tail phenomenon offer new opportunities for the visibility of literary translation. Electronic translation software is to be avoided. Postcolonial and new immigrant writing benefit from cross-frontier digital exchange. And lesser known cultures and languages can become more familiar to wider audiences—Ala Al Aswany's runaway seller The Yacoubian Building (translated by Humphrey Davies), comes to mind.   Xenophobia feeds off ignorance...

The Utopian

I will find myself in a mirror My name in a line of poetry My destiny in a person I've never met Once I lay in the sun by the Caspian Sea Listening to songs of seaweed and foam A sleepwalker with nothing to lose or gain In that Khuong Co land, the sun set under my feet Now I raise my eyes Dim with the red dust of time Or is it the dust of remembered mountains? Invisible candles shine in the night There is hope in every moment In the crossroads of my window...

Fetishists Anonymous

On Saturday afternoons, I'm the only woman at the Fetishists' Club. Otherwise it's just men. We meet on the weekends, before Sunday, stupid old Sunday, the gloomiest, most depressing day of the week. Sundays are a lost cause: reality plain and simple, unadorned. If you're lucky, you can sleep a little longer, between one noise and the next-the neighbor's shower, the elevator full of children (children are let loose on Sundays and there's no telling what can...

Girls

Darka saw her in the trolley, the sweaty, June-soaked trolley, brimming with people and their smells: sweet, almost corpselike, female, heavy, equestrian, yet oddly palatable, and even stimulating, sexual, distinctly male. Suddenly all the smells switched off, leaving only a girlish profile on the sunny side of the car, angular as a Braque: abrupt, soaring cheekbones, a fine pug nose, mulatto lips, and a sharp, childlike fist of a chin—a capricious, fragile geometry which...

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