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Articles tagged "Love"

She, You, and I

Darling, tell me that when we love, we’re not awaiting a reward or reciprocity. And that love is greatest when it’s fruitless, when feelings are more powerful, more real. What’s the point of love without suffering? Every time I contend with love, a new life is born in the fight. The anxiety I endure makes me feel my pulse, makes me feel I’m alive. I’m only happy when I’m seeking these things, not when I find them, because isn’t the footpath through...

An Introduction to Our Fourth Annual Queer Issue

This June, Words without Borders publishes its fourth annual Queer issue. The United States is celebrating LGBT pride month. The country’s Supreme Court is scheduled to deliver verdicts on two landmark cases relating to gay rights in America, both concerning the rights of same-sex couples to marry. In France, the new Socialist president François Hollande signed a “marriage for all” bill into law in late May. In response, massive demonstrations erupted around the...

Wild Daffodils

It was only during our first weekend together in the Vosges Mountains that I noticed how in tune we were. Before that, whenever we met I felt as if the city, the noise, and other people were preventing us from being completely ourselves. For our first evenings out we went to restaurants recommended by Sunday magazines, and these were often alike, with the stark lines of their décor, their brightly colored walls, geometric plates and expensive wines. There was nothing to tell us...

Velocity

I met her on the day that I divorced the sow. She came up to me and asked if I wanted a hug. She was wearing a black T-shirt with the words “International Hug Day” emblazoned on it. Behind her trailed a flock of smiling huggers. On any other day I would have yelled at them to go get a real job, since I knew they were the type who turn the celebration of “international days”—days like “No-Smoking Day,” “Family Day,” “Accident-Free...

Hello?

Have you ever traveled in an overcrowded bus? Rammed up against the window with your cheek squashed against the glass and the handrail bruising your ribs? No need to answer. Of course you have. No, really, I’m not being rude. Why am I asking? Because I need somewhere to start and that was the setting of the incident which set off the thoughts which underlie this narrative.  All right? So I got on a bus. Well no, I didn’t just get on. I forced my way in like a digger...

From “Ode to The Dove”

Trapped on the lips are sounds, like pearls of forts oceanate are mute for thousands of years, and over the muteness—a blade. "Dove darling, childhood's child, let the lips speak, give them speech Become now the cry of the sounds, or else the dream is extinct . . ." A sudden kiss on my lips. Who and where am I? Finally The locks all unlock themselves. Muteness is cut by a knife. Pearls, pearls, and pearls, with secret rushes of sea Raining from my lips now. A pearly...

from “Purge”

When the Baltic Germans were invited into Germany in the fall of 1939, one of the sisters’ German classmates from school and confirmation classes came to say good-bye, and promised to return. She was just going to make a tour of a country that she’d never seen before, and then she would come back and tell them what Germany was really like. They waved good-bye and Aliide watched as Hans’s hands wrapped around Ingel’s waist and moved toward her rear end. Their...

Poetics of Wonder: Things They Say about Mogador

  III. Concerning Time in Mogador Nineteen They say that according to the calculations of the most ancient African astronomers, the sun slows down when it passes over Mogador, lingering there more than any other place on the planet. That is why time is measured here at a leisurely pace and things in the world are perceived differently, with a certain throbbing intensity.   Twenty Because time in Mogador passes differently under the sun than in the shade, and with...

From Key of Passage

The pyxel appeared at a most inconvenient moment for Robert. As usual on such appearances, the air flickered a little, an invisible violin began to play softly, and there was a whiff of vanilla. The pyxel materialized some thirty centimeters above the tabletop. He windmilled his little arms, piped, "Oh shit," and fell to the table with a crash surprisingly heavy for an insubstantial being. He got up, brushed himself off, adjusted his official cap, and turned a serious face to Robert and...

To Awaken with Her

To awaken with her, this dream to begin days, days full and ripe whose mornings already pour gold just like this one, this, on which I dream, and say to the gold in my window, I finally understand you, when she lies by me when I hold her, her breath when my hands are once more sure of what they must curve to hold, to hold her form in the mornings, early, when the days bear her soft name, this gold reaches its goal. I'd like to dream, dream for years, study the alchemy of...

His Majesty

When I was a child, until someone told me a story I couldn't sleep. One day I was down with a high fever from morning to night. My mother, Ammajan, sat by the bed massaging my head. Granny Mughlani, whose house was next door, heard the news about me, so she came over and began rubbing the soles of my feet. My loving Granny Mughlani must have been around eighty at the time. Her love for me was boundless. To this day, I remember her face, her love, the things she said. Her face was the...

A Surprising Tale in the Form of an Alphabet

They say that the monks of eight or nine hundred centuries ago often had to face unenthusiastic, occasionally hostile audiences, who were most reluctant to follow the steps of a theological proof or of a moral sermon, and that the Alphabeta exemplorum was born out of that difficulty and the need to overcome it. What the monks did was to share out the weight of the discourse equally, so that each of the twenty or so letters of the corresponding alphabet would bear some of that weight on...

The First Love

Once I happened to visit a fishing village in the Andaman Sea, west of the Malay Peninsula in the Indian Ocean. Unlike typical fishing villages, this one was not situated on shore, but floated in the sea. Its houses were built on rafts that were anchored side by side and connected with ropes and wooden walkways. The village rocked tranquilly upon the waves, up and down, creating a strange sensation. In general, when you go from a boat to a dock, you feel at once the reassuring solidity of...

Happiness

Last night, before falling asleep, she had realized winter was almost over. "No more cold," she thought, stretching out between the sheets. As if from a limpid world, the clear sounds of the night reached her, restored to their original purity. The ticking of the clock, almost imperceptible during the day, filled the room with a nervous throb, causing her to imagine a clock in a land of giants. The steps on the pavement seemed to her like those of an assassin, or a madman escaped from an...

Bats

My cousin and I entered a dense cornfield that was taller than either of us. It was a large tract behind Aunt Tasia's house. We were only thirteen. We blended in, so we were invisible. Like being in the jungle. We forged a path among the rows, pushing aside the tall stalks, and they just kept snapping back in our faces. We'd laugh out of sheer delight. It was afternoon, and everyone was asleep. We were oblivious to everyone. We reached the chicken coop. All was quiet. Afterward...

The Prisoner

She woke up long before the alarm. As though wanting to make sure the night was over, she blinked for a while in the dawn. She'd slept a total of three hours, but the night, full of tossing and turning, and full of realistic dreams, dreams far more painful than reality, had seemed to last forever. An endless waiting... For hours, she'd lain like a chained ghost, ears pricking up at the slightest sound, afraid to budge, knees bent to her chest. Unable to cry, unable to sleep, not...

Tunnel

The roads I walked didn't tire me, the plans I formed to kill myself didn't work, I did not diminish one bit, I did not increase I forgot the night I died in your nakedness. I found myself like an inner pain I neither escaped from your murder nor died there was blood around, it felt cold, desolate . . . Carrying a tunnel's wind-rush in me I passed through the agony, throughout the road, in time's fragments they reckoned me a shiver and yet, except for a...

Water

I won't talk anymore, I won't say harsh words in the morning for a dream I embroider a flower of pearl on my bosom. I never knew, what you understood from my words, I spoke the forest's frightfulness the plain's tranquility silenced you slept a long sleep, I saw the dream. Unceasingly I spoke of a path: I'm water, I didn't forget my name I spoke of a mountain I came across while wandering; I didn't meddle with the world's affairs, the world does not...

The Black Marne

When she hugged me from behind and put her cold hands on my chest, my own hand holding the razor twitched. I'd thought she was at her parents', but in her haste to see me she had bolted out to catch the bus in the middle of her mother's sentence. We had said eight o'clock, so I wasn't expecting her before nine, and though I was barely out of the shower and only half dry, I suddenly felt her against me, cold from the chill of the outdoors, her lips also cold as her...

Ports of Madness

"We have art in order not to die of the truth."—Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power A gray hood, a red shawl, woolen gloves, tight knit socks, leather boots, a big fleece sweater, Dacron pants barely visible beneath an enormous fur coat. She advanced, postcard in hand. The sun was at its height, and city-dwellers sipped their drinks on café terraces grown too narrow. Summer shone on faces sunburned but relaxed. The heat had loosened their lips and made them quick to...

Under the Bridge

I went to look for Martín even though he didn't like for me to go all the way to the riverbank. Since it was Monday, there wasn't anybody in the restaurant, and at seven, Mere let me leave. I took off my apron, changed my white blouse and put on a black T-shirt that had a Hard Rock café sign on it that Martín gave me when I turned seventeen, and since my high heels were killing me, I put on my red Converse. Martín didn't wanna see me on the...

Level A

A-Gump had already been called A-Gump.1 At that time, the American movie Forrest Gump wasn't around yet. However, nobody knew about this. If A-Gump didn't mention it, nobody would know. Among all the people who called her A-Gump, everyone assumed that first there was the male A-Gump in Forrest Gump, followed by her, the female A-Gump. Basically nobody had doubts about the name of A-Gump. A-Gump, however, always had lots of doubts. Really, even if she hadn't been talking...

Love’s Labor

Wang Longguan repaired bicycles on the street, and Fan Qiumian supported a large family on her meager income. They met on the street and fell in love. Could it last, a love that came about between these two and under such stricken circumstances? Wang Longguan set up his bicycle repair stall at a small crossroad on a side street. He was grateful to those people who let him get an official permission to set up shop, only five months after he lost his job. And he was quite satisfied with...

The Silence of the Outcasts: An Interview with Dacia Maraini

(Pescasseroli, Easter 2005) To meet with Dacia Maraini and speak with her in peace means going up to the bitter and severe lands of Abruzzo where the writer, who lives in Rome, takes refuge during holidays and in summer. This March, Easter concludes a winter of polar temperatures and the snow in the National Park of Abruzzo remains plentiful. Dacia Maraini loves cross-country skiing and walking in the woods; this is her natural realm, and she settles here to write her books in solitude...

Lisa

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