Banipal has always paid great attention to Iraqi literature. Over the years we have published features containing both fiction and poetry. This issue marks the first time we have concentrated solely on the Iraqi novel and not included poetry. This is purely to introduce some good examples of Iraqi novels, not for any other reason. It was not in our mind to make any judgement between fiction and poetry. Four Iraqi critics write in this feature that Iraqi intellectuals are nowadays expressing themselves through fiction, not poetry.
Khaled Khalifa writes about his native city with sensuality and an almost feral intensity in his new novel, “No Knives in the Kitchens of This City.” The book focuses on just one family, and it stops several years short of the Syrian civil war. But it offers a glimpse into how terrified and empty of hope the people of a city must be to rise up in revolt. The future offers them nothing. It is a castle of closed doors.
In addition to his voluminous work on Iraq and the Middle East, Faleh published many valuable contributions to social and political theory, mostly on the Hegelian and Marxist currents. These themes were central to two books he published, in Arabic, just before his untimely death. Al-Istirab/Alienation: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Hegel
'It's wonderful that an august specialist magazine such as Banipal has been active for all these years, providing an outstanding service that essentially has nothing to do with commerce or profit-making, but aims to build bridges between the Arab world and Europe through the English language. "I’m proud that the first creative writings of mine to be translated into English appeared in the pages of Banipal magazine, and the magazine continues to offer texts by Iraqi creative artists who are my colleagues, and by a large group of other Arab writers from a variety of countries
This is why the international literature festival berlin is calling upon all cultural and political institutions, schools, universities, media and individuals interested in joining us to give a Worldwide Reading and to subsequently discuss the 30 articles that make up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations Assembly on 10 December 1984
Sheikh Zayed Book Award launches Translation Initiative Abu Dhabi, 25 February 2018: The Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced the launch of a Translation Initiative in cooperation with the Frankfurt Book Fair N.Y branch, aiming to support publishing houses in translating the Award’s winning titles into English, French and German. The initiative comes as part of the action plan in response to the recommendations materialising out of the Translators’ Seminar held in London last year towards providing appropriate support and awareness of Arab authors and literary works.
Three authors from the issue: Nouri A-Jarrah reads and discusses his dramatic poem A Boat to Lesbos, with a feast of images and Greek choruses of spoken voice in an elegy to all those forced to flee Syria by sea; performance poet Charlotte Van den Broeck, a household name in her native Belgium and a contributor to Guest Literature from Flanders, performs poems from her debut collection Chameleon with English translations by Astrid Alben; and Muhsin al-Ramli with his novel, The President’s Gardens (being published in English translation by Maclehose Press), unfurls the terror and tragedy at the heart of Iraq’s recent history.
Tareq Bakari, Rabai al-Madhoun, Mohamed Rabie, Mahmoud Shukair, Shahla Ujayli and George Yaraq have today, Tuesday 9 February, been announced as the six authors...
Yassin Adnan, Sultan Al Ameemi, Mohammad Hsaan Alwan, Sinan Antoon. Najwa Binshatwan, Amir Tag Elsir, Ali Ghadeer, Renee Hayek, Zuheir al-Hiti, Ismail Fahd Ismail, Abdul Kareem Jouaity, Tayseer Khalf, Elias Khoury, Mohammed Abdel Nabi and Saad Mohammed Rahim and Youssef Rakha
We are very sad to report that our consulting editor Herbert Mason passed away suddenly on New Year's Day. The distinguished Professor Emeritus and the William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of History and Religious thought at Boston University, author and translator of Louis Massignon's 4-volume work on The Passon of Al-Hallaj will be much missed around the world. We will always remember him through his writings and translations. All our deepest condolences and sympathies to his family. A full obituary and tribute will appear in Banipal 58
Die weitaus meisten Autoren, welche Sprachwechsler sind, nicht in ihrer Muttersprache schreiben und mehrere Herkünfte und Identitäten für sich reklamieren, entscheiden sich am Ende für eine der beiden Seiten. Dass Hussain al-Mozany sich nicht entscheiden konnte oder wollte, dürfte zwar dazu beigetragen haben, dass ihm größerer Ruhm versagt blieb. Es macht ihn auch unter den Autoren, die den Chamisso-Preis bekamen, zu einem Sonderfall
There is a trend in contemporary Arab literature to create a form or type of work that could be termed biographical or autobiographical, which combines actual history with contemporary or imagined characters (which is nothing out of the ordinary), but in the hands of these authors this then allows them to develop a thoroughly creative and original analysis
St Aidan’s College of the University of Durham and Banipal magazine of modern Arab literature are delighted to announce that the Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship 2017 has been awarded to Ali Bader, a well-known Iraqi novelist and essayist, whose work is making an important contribution to contemporary Arabic literature. He is the author of thirteen works of fiction, two of which were long-listed for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and several works of non-fiction. His best-known novels include Papa Sartre and The Tobacco Keeper (both published also in English translation)
Fayad, who was born in Bogota in 1945, said he never thought he would write a book about Lebanese emigration to the Americas, and especially to Colombia, but eventually explored that topic in “La caida de los puntos cardinales” (The Fall of the Cardinal Points). “And why? Any Colombian could’ve written it, and I wrote it because I had direct exposure to the stories of my grandparents, of my great-uncles, who were the ones who made the trip.
Summer Banipal is a chance to present a host of great reading opportunities, and our focus theme The Longlist, featuring novels from the longlists of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction over the last two years, offers precisely that. In a number of previous issues we have published, in collaboration with the IPAF Banipal 59 – The Longlist is packed with features, including for the first time a Guest Poet translated from Spanish – the great Angel Guinda who is recognised as “one of the most necessary and original poets in Spanish literature”, and “an incorruptible voice”. We are also proud to present, following features in earlier issues on Arabic literature in Japan and China, a fascinating essay by Russian Arabist Viktoria Zarytovskya on “Arabic Literature in Russia”, from its first translations of the Qura’n to the lack of translators today
Banipal 56’s main feature is Generation ’56, presenting a number of influential Arab literators, all born in 1956, and all of whom grew up to become major beacons of modernity, intellectual freedom and creativity, and cultural initiatives, while the year itself is remembered above all for the Suez Canal crisis and the invasion by Israel, Britain and France known as the Tripartite
St Aidan’s College of the University of Durham and Banipal magazine of modern Arab literature, with the support of the British Council, are establishing an annual writing fellowship for a published author writing in Arabic, based each year at St Aidan’s College. The Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship will be a three-month residency
Banipal’s core mission is to bring readers gems, in translation, from the wealth of creative writing being produced across the Arab world today. Banipal 57 – Syria in the Heart brings you twelve Syrian authors, and in addition, two from Palestine and Iraq. The focus on Arab literary modernism and its pioneers has been postponed on account of this most urgent subject of the future of Syria.