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Articles tagged "Memoir"

A Memoir Disguised as a Novel

Harper Perennial, which reissued A Life Full of Holes in 2008, describes it on the cover as “the first novel ever written in the Arabic dialect Moghrebi.” Yet there is more than a little doubt as to whether it is a novel at all. A Life Full of Holes was told to Paul Bowles in Moghrebi by a young man named Larbi Layachi, over the course of several months. Bowles recorded and translated each episode, refraining as far as possible from editorial interference. “Apart...

from “Diary”

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The following article contains scenes depicting nudity and sexual situations. Reader discretion is advised.

Memories of Chernobyl

NOTE: As a young doctor studying in Kiev in 1986, Mohamed Makhzangi found himself in the midst of a public health catastrophe when the Chernobyl nuclear plant melted down that spring. The longer work from which this excerpt is taken is an "anti-memoir," as he puts it, of his impressions as both an outsider and a victim. Through an array of brief vignettes, snippets of conversations, and fragmentary encounters, he convincingly conveys the mounting panic at the time, the loneliness of...

Me and My Circumstance

Ortega y Gasset famously defined the individual by saying "Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia" (I am I and what's around me). Although I may have said that I sort of backed into translation without having thought about it or having set my sights on it, I do have within me certain ingredients, innate or circumstantial, that could be said to have tilted me in that direction. Many far-flung genes have come to rest in my being, given the fact that my grandparents were born in four different...

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