264 entries in Mag: Articles

The Shape of Time: New Palestinian Writing

—Are you there? —Where? —Here? —You mean there? —I mean do you see the sea? —I see sand. —But do you see the sea? —I see time waiting for us. —You…...

A Map of Jerusalem

My grandmother’s house still stands. When she was born in the 1920s, the streets had no name. She said the earthquake parted them. And when my mother was born, two years after 1948, my grandmother…...

Changing Landscapes and Identities: An Introduction to Tamil Writing

Early Tamil literary theory and poetics, from around the beginning of the Christian era, classified the subject matter of all literature into two main genres, akam and puram. Akam refers to the inner world,…...

New Armenian Writing by Women: An Introduction

These are exciting times for Armenia. After seventy years of Soviet rule and twenty years of independence, a new generation is finally beginning to emerge. It is a generation that was born on the brink…...

On Memory: New Writing from Japan

This is the fourth issue of Words without Borders focusing on Japan (and the third supported by the British Centre for Literary Translation/Nippon Foundation partnership). For this issue we decided to…...

Mexico Interrupted

When we first proposed a feature on Mexico in April 2014, our idea was to shift thematically away from the Words without Borders Mexican Drug War Issue in 2012. Tapping into the celebratory mood…...

Contemporary Women’s Writing in Slovakia

Twenty-five years after the Velvet Revolution and over two decades since its “velvet divorce” from its bigger brother, the Czech Republic, in 1992, Slovakia—a country with a population…...

Around the Globe: An Introduction to International YA Writing

If you can get past the thick fog of casual snobbery that always seems to envelop this subject, it seems perfectly obvious that a lot of the most interesting writing happening in the English-speaking world…...

New Voices in Uruguayan Poetry

With only 3.4 million people, Uruguay is the smallest Spanish-speaking country in South America, but it has always been well-populated with poets. The Uruguayan poet Leo Masliah makes this clear in his…...

Not Necessarily About Politics: Contemporary Czech Prose

The Czechs are cultural overachievers. In film, photography, theater, architecture, music, art, they punch above their weight, with an impact far beyond what you’d expect from a nation of ten million…...

Walt Whitman and Me: Notes on a Poetic Education

To the poets of the Lebanese Journal Shi‘r   I know I’m about to write myself into another maze and I’m going to get lost in it. In my infancy there was my father, there was…...

Building a New World

I don’t know if people remember how they learned to read and write—or swim, or do cartwheels. I know that one day I wasn’t able to do these things, and the next day I was, even though…...

“The Fair-haired Princess” and Serious Literature

Father’s bookshelves were lined mostly with Marxist-Leninist books. I remember the titles on some of the spines. I can’t remember some others, because the words were too abstract. I loitered…...

The Prodigal Father

Tomáš Zmeškal’s father was a Congolese intellectual who traveled to the capital of Communist Czechoslovakia in 1959 to win support for the soon-to-be independent Republic of…...

“The Mastermind”: An Act of Translation

The Rodrigo Rosenberg case broke into public view over five years ago with an eighteen-minute video recording that was distributed to the Guatemalan press at Rosenberg's funeral two days after his…...

The Liberated Voice: Three Writers from Syria

Clearly the most important duty for the outsider looking to read new Syrian literature at the moment is not to expect a consistent voice or search for a monolithic take on the current period of Syrian…...

The Memory of Our Land: Writing in and from Exile

In late May I attended a writers’ conference in Sozopol, Bulgaria, sponsored by the admirable Elizabeth Kostova Foundation. Sozopol lies on the Black Sea, less than two hundred miles south of Constanța,…...

Exilium Ergo Sum

In Cuba, I was an exiled writer. First, because I wanted to isolate myself from that pair of collective hypnoses called the literary field and the national tradition. In Cuba, I didn't need to sail…...

The Poet Cannot Stand Aside: Arabic Literature and Exile

Fourteen hundred years ago and more, the poet-prince Imru’ al-Qais was banished by his father. The king exiled his son, or so the legend goes, in part because of the prince’s poetry. Thus it…...

Nepal’s Many Voices

Formed in 1768, Nepal is South Asia’s oldest nation state, and yet it is extremely young in spirit. It joined the free world late, in 1990, when a democracy movement ended centuries of an absolute…...

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