Dossier: Translation

Hartmut Faehndrich (photo: Ruth Renée Reif)

Interview with literary translator Hartmut Faehndrich

"What I don't see is an on-going interest in Arabic literature"

Hartmut Faehndrich is one of the most renowned translators of Arabic literature in the German-speaking world. He has translated nearly 60 novels into German. In this interview with Ruth Renée Reif, he explains why Arabic literature is undervalued in the German-speaking worldMore

Mohamed Choukri in Casablanca on 5 November 2000 (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Tenth anniversary of the death of Mohamed Choukri

The "White Nightingale" of Tangier

The Moroccan writer Mohamed Choukri may have died over a decade ago, but the debate surrounding his controversial work continues in conservative Morocco to this day. Aziz Dariouchi on the discourse surrounding Choukri's literary legacyMore

Translations of Classical Islamic Literature

From the Emotional Orient to the Distortion of Islam

Why does classical Oriental poetry still sound so ornate to western ears? Blame the translations. These are still following the model of the eighteenth century, when the myth arose that Islamic poets were sentimental geniuses in the realm of emotion and romance. An essay by Stefan WeidnerMore

Jurji Zaidan (photo/image: Zaidanfoundation.org)

Jurji Zaidan's Arabic Historical Novels

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Educating and Entertaining the Public

By writing historical novels, Jurji Zaidan wanted to provide the common Arabic people with an accurate sense of their own history in an accessible, entertaining way. His novels were unavailable in English for nearly a century. But now, in the last two years, six English translations have appeared. By M. Lynx QualeyMore

Lina al-Abed (photo: Irmgard Berner)

Interview with Filmmaker Lina al-Abed

''I Believe in the Syrian People''

Lina al-Abed is a journalist and filmmaker who left her home in Damascus, Syria, to start a career in Beirut, Lebanon. In this interview with Irmgard Berner, she talks about women in the Arab film business and how the Syrian revolution has already in some ways liberated SyriansMore

The old quarter of Fez (photo: Wikipedia/cc-by-sa-2.0-de)

Abdellah Taïa's Novel ''The Day of the King''

The Bitter Taste of Injustice

In his most recent novel, Le jour du Roi (The Day of the King), which has just been published in German translation, the Moroccan author Abdellah Taïa once again takes the reader back to the "leaden years", Morocco's dark days under the former ruler Hassan II. Claudia Kramatschek sends us this reviewMore

Etel Adnan (photo: Norma Cole)

Interview with Etel Adnan

''I React to What is Happening in the World''

Etel Adnan, the grand dame of Middle Eastern literature, is the epitome of cosmopolitanism: throughout her life, she has oscillated between one country, one language, and one genre and another. dOCUMENTA (13) dedicated an entire retrospective to this exceptional poet, writer, and painter. Vera Kern travelled to Kassel to meet the 87-year-oldMore

Elias Khoury (photo: dpa)

Elias Khoury's Novel ''Yalo''

The Word and the War

More than twenty years after the end of Lebanon's civil war, the conflicting parties can still not agree on a single narrative of events. With "Yalo", Elias Khoury has written a magnificent novel on the Lebanese struggles for history. By Sonja HegasyMore

Mansoura ez-Eldin (photo: © Mansoura ez-Eldin)

Mansoura ez-Eldin's ''Beyond Paradise''

Dark Family Secrets on the Nile

A book by the Egyptian writer Mansoura ez-Eldin has been published in German for the first time. In it, the novelist relates a family saga set in the landscape of the Nile Delta. But as a work that first appeared in pre-revolutionary 2009, does it have any relevance now? Axel von Ernst finds outMore

Fuad Rifka (photo: dpa)

Obituary for Fuad Rifka

The Advocate of Lyrical Attentiveness

The renowned Lebanese poet Fuad Rifka died last Saturday at the age of 80. Alongside Adonis and Mahmud Darwish he was one of the great revivers of Arabic poetry, yet among those of his own generation he remained unique until the end. An obituary by Stefan WeidnerMore