278 entries in Mag: Articles

A Trip through Ayahuasca

Audio courtesy of Literatura Sonora. We look like funerary bundles dug out of our graves. There are ten or twelve people sitting on the room’s floor, in a circle, and in the dark. The...

The Age of Acurio

I grew up in a country at war. I still remember clearly a month in 1990 in which twelve bombs exploded near my house in Lima, one every two or three days. Peru was living through its worst years of...

Living with the Beast

  Wilfredo Inuma is the chief of an indigenous Amazonian community. But above all, he is the guardian of the lavatory. Wilfredo founded the Shipibo community of Bena Gema twelve years ago,...

Flemish Tapestries: On Don Quixote in English

Rendered into some fifty languages (there are approximately five thousand languages in the world today), El Quijote is one of the most translated novels in history. Its length probably hinders it...

Myth and History: Writing from Indonesia

In October of this year, Indonesia will make its appearance as the guest of honor (GOH) at the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF)—the first country from Southeast Asia to be so honored. Because...

Story

In the fading night sky there are points of light, countless in number, vast in distance—who knows their size, their age? Yet, at one time, people drew imaginary lines between those stars and...

At the Borders of Homeland and Exile: Tibetan Literature

I was around twelve, far too old to not realize what I was seeing. One night our usual evening study session at my Tibetan boarding school in Dharamsala, the capital of exile Tibet in India, was...

Introduction: Emerging German Writers

For a long time, a large photo hung above the stage at Berlin’s Literary Colloquium, shot by Renate von Mangoldt and showing a meeting of the writers’ group Gruppe 47 there in 1965. Rows...

Fighter

He doesn’t say that he had no choice. He says that his father was also a soldier. He says that if he had the choice today, he would perhaps choose differently. At that time he made his choice....

Burundi: Writing from the State of Sleep

Burundi is a small East Central African nation on the northern edge of Lake Tanganyika, one of Africa’s Great Lakes, which holds almost one-fifth of the world’s entire fresh water supply....

Lessons from the Human Zoo

In the 1950s, the behavioral scientist Desmond Morris carried out art experiments with the chimpanzee Congo. What began with a hesitant pencil line drawn by Congo soon led to expressive, powerful,...

Connections, Missed and Made: The Queer Issue

As I write, the Irish people have just approved a constitutional amendment in favor of same-sex marriage, the nineteenth country to recognize this right. In the US the television program Transparent,...

From “The Memory of a Secret”

What do we know about our parents? They’re never anything but parents. They do what parents do, listen but never speak. Help you up but they themselves stay down. One day you’ll start to...

Jerking Out of Rotation: Four Icelandic Poets

Given that its language is spoken by fewer than 350,000 people across the world, Iceland manages to publish an astonishing volume of poetry, reflecting the country’s nearly 100 percent literacy...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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