Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

"Banipal 52" , Samuel Shimon (ed)

A magazine of Modern Arab Literature - 224 pages with many extracts from novels. The translations are excellent as far as I can tell. There are quite a few tales of culture shocks. There are many prisons and injustices. Sometimes the pieces feel like sociology and politics made more entertaining. It's a risk the writers and reviewers are aware of. In his review of a book about Khaled Mattawa, Robin Ostle writes -

  • "Certain writers are inextricably linked with political causes, and their readers and public come to expect that they remain the voice of that cause", p.180
  • "In most cases the periods of positive interaction between art and politics are of short duration, and the longer they go on, the more problematic they are likely to be", p.181

Writers know that they'll get a wider readership if they deal with atrocities. With stories set in some places it's hard for writers to avoid dealing with topics that might appear sensationalist to UK-based readers.

There are reviews of (re-printed) novels that have complex or modernist structures, but the published texts were rather traditional.

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