A woman's voice is a revolution, 2013
Photograph by Ahmed Hayman
Introduction, by Anna Botta and Michel Moushabeck
Predrag Matvejević calls the Mediterranean "an intimate
sea." For centuries, determined flows of merchants and
immigrants, warriors and crusaders, slaves and pirates,
good and ideas have crisscrossed its waters. Considering
the multiplicity and variety of civilizations that look out
ontothat lake of cultures, a question immediately comes
to mind . . .
Being Medit, a poem by Erri De Luca,
translated by Jim Hicks
Being Medit by birth and destiny, it fixes
not your future, but your unpackaged past
and shadows your fate, steering its drift and amble,
at sea in a wind that shifts its fancy
by the hour . . .
The Country, a story by Francesc Serés,
translated by Peter Bush
Every morninghe dives back in.
The sun pokes its head up like a giant octopus, a mass
of tentacles over the surface of the sea, reflected on road
signs and other car windows. Along the road by the beach,
residential and industrial estates, a fox that's been run
over, two blond girls wilting under the weight . .
It's Worthwhile Remaining a Tel Aviv Citizen on the
Bank of the Yarkon River, a poem by Ortsion Bartana
The whole life will pass on the bank of the Yarkon.
A channel full of water, of mud, full of river grass, full of birds.
Without talking the day passed, darkness came.
With no rule and order dogs pass by. . . .
Levantine Legends and Histories of Bread,
an essay by Predrag Matvejevic´,
translated by Russell Scott Valentino
It was born in ashes, on stone. Bread is older than
writing. Its first names are etched in clay tablets, in
dead languages. Part of its past has been left in ruins.
Its history is shared among countries and peoples. . . .
The Old Woman from the Mountains,
a story by Leila Sebbar, translated by Dawn Fulton
It was war. And it is war.
The old woman is talking to herself. In this country, she has
a room. But this country is not her country. Every day she
tells her eldest daughter that she will not stay in this room,
even if it is the home of her great-granddaughter, her
favorite, the sweet and beautiful Nedjma. . . .
from The Shell, novel excerpts by Moustafa Khalifé,
translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp
I opened my eyes slowly. I could barely breathe from the
suffocating smells around me. All i could see was feet
everywhere. I was lying on the floor . . . .
Dale, an essay by Ilija Trojanow, translated by Philip Boehm,
with photos by Christian Muhrbeck
If you're going to a wedding you've got to shave.
THat's how we live, bratko. Life moves fast.
Whoever has meat to butcher, shares it.
They call themselves "Dale." . . .