Articles tagged "Politics"


The Ape

I used to think it an exaggeration that Latin American dictators were always depicted as apes in cartoons. Until one day . . . On the railway track, hundreds of soldiers appeared in their camouflage...

Candy

After leaving the Pajero at the district headquarters, the personal assistant and I headed out on foot. A village road. Dirt and dust. A horrid stench. Shit and dung. Why had the villages become so...

The Sound Words Have

Once there was a town where no two people spoke the same language. No one used the same words for anything. And yet everyone understood everyone else and they all lived together in peace and...

Ride of the Valkyries

For Vasco Szinetar The president sits in the backseat of the car and watches confusedly as his wife struggles to climb in. Her clothes are cumbersome, extravagant, even though she dressed in a...

from “Kumait”

He couldn’t help but see the school; from the time he had left the bus at the township’s station, he had never thought of going any other way. His feet felt at home on the...

Oh, Those Chubby Genes

Three homeless citizens were sitting on Budapest’s Liberty Square, watching television. By the corner of the American Embassy, policemen with automatics were shuffling in place, as always,...

Womb

My name is Nagari. Thirty years of age. There is no need to explain; I understand. . . . That evening, after my bath, my hair still wet, I heard a pounding on the door of my rented room. Three...

The Trial of Jean-Marie Le Pen

By the time it starts the Blistier trial has already been known for months as "the trial of Jean-Marie Le Pen." Civil rights groups were the first to call it that, but by now the phrase, borne...

The Many Masks of Max Mirebelais

Roberto Bolaño's Nazi Literature in the Americas presents itself as a biographical dictionary of American writers who flirted with or espoused extreme right-wing ideologies in the...

from “Serve the People!”

The novel is the only place for a great many of life's truths. Because it is only in fiction that certain facts can be held up to the light. The novel it is, then, for this particular truth....

Encounter

I have a feeling that it is a mistake to go to the party at Mr. M.'s, especially under the circumstances. Things have tightened up once more. Again scarves have to be pulled down all the way to...

Käte Frankenthal, an Activist Physician

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The Rooster’s Egg: A Fable of Ancient Thebes

It is hard not to read this story as a lesson about the arbitrary nature of power and attendant reversals of fortune. Some historical background: Akhenaten, originally Amenhotep IV (1353-1335...

Egyptian Literature Today

As the largest Arabic-speaking country (at 70+ million inhabitants and counting), Egypt, with its teeming capital of Cairo, plays a disproportionately large role in the intellectual and cultural...

I Don’t Want Anyone Coming around to Save Me

I don't want anyone coming around to save me So, whoever is sending me those nice thoughts, those smug little messages, --take it elsewhere. Cut off the oxygen now. I don't...

from Love Will Wilt in Too Much Sun

As was often the case between the man and the woman, they'd spent the morning hours in delicious intimacy, accentuated by their bodies seeming to fortuitously brush against one another, furtive...

Hysteria

"I really didn't do anything," a woman sobbed. "I didn't even go near a factory. I've never once been to a strange rally," the woman shouted. "I have no interest in who died from...

from The Ministry of Pain

Like the desert the northern landscape makes for absolutism. Except that in the north the desert is green and full of water. And there are no temptations, no roundnesses or curves. The land is...

from The Asylum Seeker

One evening, after weeks of something like forty jars of vitamins and dozens of liters of strawberry juice, the Bird asks: "Would you mind if I got married?" In that marrying, Beck sees his...

from Reina’s Flight

The President Has Mystical Visions." This was the headline in the Heraldo. Mr. Camargo had been convinced that the Heraldo, his newspaper's rival, would not publish a single word about the...

Ahlem

1 The television room had never been so full and so silent, except for the announcer's voice booming for more than an hour. Nobody added a whisper to his commentary. Nobody made a move to...

from The Banquet in Blitva

Written before the Second World War but not widely available until 1962, Miroslav Krleza's Banquet in Blitva combines the satire of a Jonathan Swift with the style and tone of the Austrian...

Cactus

She was always afraid of missing the beautiful and important things in life. She traveled a lot, but more often she panicked because she was stuck at home. For some reason she always imagined that...

from The Moon and the Leopard

In The Moon and the Leopard, author Bijan Mofid developed a hint from a folk tale into a verse drama about the tragic love of the Leopard King for the Moon, first glimpsed as a reflection in a...

Freedom Can Be a Nightmare: An Interview with Kader Abdolah

This interview was originally published August 12, 1995, in NRC Handelsblad. A unique phenomenon in Dutch literature: Kader Abdolah, a political refugee from Iran who writes little gems of...

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