255 entries in Mag: Articles

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…...

Metamorphoses of Reality: An Introduction to New Ukrainian Writing

Whenever I get into a conversation regarding Ukraine’s place on the global map, I am always reminded of a cartoon I once saw in an American history textbook. In it, a confused-looking student is…...

Slaves of Moscow

On October 30, 2012, a group of civil society activists in Moscow freed twelve slaves from the Produkty grocery store, owned by a Kazakhstani couple, Zhansulu Istanbekova and her husband, Saken Muzdybayev.…...

Gastarbeiter

The year is 1994. A pale intellectual arrives at the Munich train station with a small suitcase and many hopes. This is Germany—blossoming, as orderly as a village home expecting guests, a country…...

The Gold Watch

Fifty years ago, when Turkish guest workers came to Germany and telephone calls were expensive, people recorded audio tapes and gave them to friends and acquaintances traveling to Turkey. On these tapes…...

Horsemeat of the Brothel

Yan, thirty-one, was born in a small fishing town in Fujian province, China. Although wealthy Fujianese expatriates are notorious for the extravagant ceremonies they perform in honor of their ancestors,…...

Queens Football

Mauricio Álvarez, better known as La Madison, takes a small mirror from his bag. As he combs his wispy bleached blonde hair, he says he realized he was gay at the age of seven, while reading a Superman…...

Safely Home: Short Prose from the Netherlands and Flanders

This issue presents writing by Dutch and Flemish writers exploring the intrusion of the forbidden, the illegal, the unspoken into people’s lives and homes. What fears and taboos reside there? What…...

The Lonely Word: Three Poems by Liu Xia

Since 2010, Chinese security agents have kept artist and poet Liu Xia imprisoned in her Beijing home, isolating her from friends and allowing her only occasional, chaperoned forays into the outside world.…...

Poets of Protest

Manal Al-Sheikh and Mazen Maarouf, two poets living in exile in Scandinavia, appear in the Al Jazeera-produced documentary series Poets of Protest, directed by British filmmaker Roxana Vilk.  The…...

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