الأربعاء، 16 ديسمبر، 2015

الأحد، 13 ديسمبر، 2015

young and full of plans

some readers already felt that Roth's recent books contained too much Roth, Updike charged-Updike was clearly among them-but Operation Shylock contained too much of everything. Roth, as an author, had become exhausting. 
This had to hurt. Whatever Roth thought about the capacities of professional reviewers, he had an unflagging respect for Updike's opinion. They had developed a friendly acquaintance over the years, starting when they were young and full of plans and arguing about the Vietnam War. (Roth tells me that one o f their arguments, somewhat transmogrified, made it into Rabbit Redux, with Updike-a defender of the war-in the role of the politically conservative Rabbit, and Roth's views emerging from a black revolutionary character called Skeeter).
Roth and Bloom had gone to dinner at the Updike's house, near Boston, when Bloom was performing there. (Roth was mightily impressed by the layout of the house, with separate rooms for Updike's various projects-novels, poetry, reviews-and a typewriter in each one). Roth didn't write reviews, but he telephoned Updike whenever he admired something, and Updike-who Roth says generally stayed  aloof-would occasionally write him a note. In assessing his generation of writers, Roth often says that Updike had the greatest natural gift of all of them.

Roth Unbound
Claudia Roth Pierpont   

الجمعة، 4 ديسمبر، 2015

Heart of Darkness.

I feel I should add something else here. I have often been interpreted as retrospectively attacking great writes and thinkers like Jane Austen and Karl Marx because some of their ideas seem politically incorrect by the standards of our time. that is a stupid notion which, I just have to say categorically, is not true of anything I have either written or said. on the contrary, I am always trying to understand figures from the past whom I admire, even as I point out how they were by the perspectives of their own cultural moment as far as their views of other cultures and peoples were concerned. the special point I then try to make is that it is imperative to read them as intrinsically worthwhile for today's non-European or non-Western reader, who is often either happy to dismiss them altogether as dehumanizing or insufficiently aware of the colonized people (as Chinua Achebe does with Conrad's portrayal of Africa), or reads them, in a way, "above" the historical circumstances of which they were so much apart. My approach tries to see them in their context as accurately as possible, but then -because they are extraordinary writers and thinkers whose work has enabled other, alternative work and readings based on developments of which they could not have been aware - I see them contrapuntally, that is, as figures whose writing travels across temporal, cultural and ideological boundaries in unforeseen ways to emerge as part of a new ensemble along with later history and subsequent art. so, for instance, rather than leaving Conrad's late-nineteenth-century work as-in all sorts of unforeseen proleptic ways-suggesting and provoking not only the tragic distortions in the Congo's subsequent history but also the echoing answers in Africa writing that reuse Conrad's journey motif as a topos to present that discoveries and recognition of postcolonial dynamics, a great part of them the deliberate antitheses-you have the radically different responses embodied in Tayib Salih's Mawsim al Hijra illal shamal and V.S. Naipaul's A bend in the River. These two works couldn't be more different from each other, but both are unimaginable without the structure of Conrad's prior imaginative feat to guide and then push them, so to speak, into a new avenues of articulation true to the vision of a Sudanese Arab's experience in the 1960s and that of a Trinidadian Indian expatriate a few years later. The interesting result is not only that Salih and Naipaul depend so vitally on their reading of Conrad, but that Conrad's writing is further actualized and animated by emphases and inflections that he was obviously unaware of, but that his writing permits.

Edward Said | Freud and the Non-European

الجمعة، 20 نوفمبر، 2015

on Julian Barnes

He then worked as a reviewer and literary editor for the New Statesman and the New Review. During his time at the New Statesman, Barnes suffered from debilitating shyness, saying: "When there were weekly meetings I would be paralysed into silence, and was thought of as the mute member of staff."


الجمعة، 30 أكتوبر، 2015

at 35

Portnoy's Complaint made Roth a rich man. In May 1968, he was in debt for eight thousands dollars: "I had been sitting in my room like in Solzhenitsyn's cell," he says, "doling out this money to Maggie and being angry." Suddenly, in June, Maggie was dead, his book was finished, and a messenger had delivered a publisher check for a quarter of a million dollars. (life magazine: "What's the tip on a quarter of a million?") He paid off his debts, he bought a car, he moved to a nice apartment on the East Side, and he took Ann Mudge in a first-class trip to Europe, sailing on the France, He hadn't bought any clothes in years, so he had several suits made at one of the poshest tailors in London--Kilgour, French & Stanbury, on Savile Row. The experience wasn't as unfamiliar as he'd expected. "It was like the Temple B'nai Jeshurun in there," he assures me. "The cloth was like the Torah ark, and the silence and the light coming through the dirty windows, and all the tailors were Jews." He had more bespoke suits made elsewhere. He propositioned the first attractive journalist who was sent to interview him. He hired a call girl, while Ann was off somewhere, for an hour in a London hotel. "I was dizzy," he remembers, "dizzy with success and freedom and money." 

Roth Unbound
Claudia Pierpont

الخميس، 1 أكتوبر، 2015

the story of the every day grind

Coetzee is known as reclusive and avoids publicity to such an extent that he did not collect either of his two Booker Prizes in person. South African writer Rian Malan has said that:
Coetzee is a man of almost monkish self-discipline and dedication. He does not drink, smoke, or eat meat. He cycles vast distances to keep fit and spends at least an hour at his writing-desk each morning, seven days a week. A colleague who has worked with him for more than a decade claims to have seen him laugh just once. An acquaintance has attended several dinner parties where Coetzee has uttered not a single word.
Asked about this comment in an interview by email, Coetzee said, "I have met Rian Malan only once in my life. He does not know me and is not qualified to talk about my character."

source for this material: Wikipedia. 

الاثنين، 15 يونيو، 2015

السبت، 14 فبراير، 2015

أورهان باموك في شوارع القاهرة

في يوم عيد الحب، وفي بيت السحيمي بشارع المعز في قلب القاهرة جرت فعاليات افتتاح مهرجان القاهرة الأدبي الأول بجلسة حوارية جمعت أورهان باموك مع ابراهيم عبد المجيد، وأدارت المحاورة الدكتورة شيرين أبو النجا. وسط حضور غفير وسطوع فلاش الكاميرات دارت محاورة تقليدية حول المدن (اسطنبول و الاسكندرية) والتاريخ والزمن والذكريات واللغة والترجمة، وحضورهم في كتابة الرواية، ودارت مقارنة بين متحف البراءة و جودت بك ومذكرات اسطنبول لباموك وبين بيت الياسمين والضفة الأخري وثلاثية الاسكندرية لأبراهيم عبد المجيد.
استمرت المحاورة ساعة ونصف تقريباً ولم يكن هناك فقرة للأسئلة في النهاية.
بعد الحوار هرول منظموا الحفل بالسيد باموك إلي غرفة خلفية انتظاراً لكي تفرغ القاعة من الحضور. وبعد ربع ساعة خرجوا به إلي شارع المعز. كان قد ارتدي معطفاً قصيراً محبوكاً فوق سترته، و كوفية بيضاء حول عنقه. كان طويلاً ونحيلاً جداً، ويسير مسرعاً علي أطراف أقدامه وهو يميل للأمام، ويتصرف كشخصية معروفة اعتاد محاوطة الصحفيين له في كل مكان. تقاطر خلفه عدد من المعجبين للحصول علي توقيعه أو للتصوير، فكان لطيفاً معهم ولكن متعجلاً. 
هرولت خلفه رفيقته الشقراء لتلحق به، كان لا ينظر لشئ حوله. من سوء الحظ ان السيارات كانت تدخل إلي شارع المعز في هذه الفترة، فكانت فوضي خفيفة من سيارات النقل والعربات اليدوية فوق أرضية الشارع الحجرية المنمقة، ولكنه لم يكن يتصرف كسائح وربما شاهد الآثار الإسلامية في وقت أخر من اليوم. كان يتكلم مع مرافقيه وكان يريد شيئاً ما. وفجأة توقف ودخل مقهي شعبية وسأل علي قهوة. كان يريدها في كوب بلاستيكي ليأخذها معه فلم يفهمه رجل المقهي. كان المصريون يجلسون علي الناحية الأخري من الرصيف يدخنون الشيشة، ويبتسمون لمشاهدة باموك الأجنبي طويل القامة ذو الملابس الفاخرة الذي دخل إلي مقهاهم. سارع مرافقوه المصريين بالتدخل للترجمة لرجل القهوة ولكن باموك لم ينتظر، وسارع بالهرولة مع رفيقته. ولكن أحد الشبان المصريين طلب من رجل القهوة أن يكمل الطلب ودفع ثمنها وانتظر حتي صبها الرجل في كوب بلاسيتيكي فحملها وهرع بها عبر الشارع إلي باموك، الذي كان قد وصل في هرولته إلي ساحة مسجد الحاكم في الشمال. التفت باموك علي صوت الشاب: مستر أورهان. مستر أورهان. وسارع بملاقاته في الطريق لتناول الكوب منه شاكراً. قال شكراً مرة واحدة وابتسم، ولم يسأل عن الحساب. 
احتضن باموك الكوب وسارع بشرب عدة جرعات. كانوا قد وصلوا إلي بوابة الفتوح، حيث كانت تنتظره سيارة دبلوماسية فاخرة بسائق مصري. كانت الدكتورة شيرين أبو النجا هناك ووقف الطاقم المصري حول السيارة ينسق الأمور، ولكن باموك مرة أخري لا ينتظر ولا يضيع لحظه واحدة فدخل من فوره إلي المقعد الخلفي للسيارة التي سرعان ما خرجت من البوابة إلي زحام القاهرة، وأورهان في الخلف لا يزال يشرب قهوته المصرية لا ينظر من النافذة وقد تُرجمت كلماته إلي 62 لغة بالرغم من انه قال من قبل انه يتكلم تركية سيئة وكادت تركيا نفسها أن تسجنه ذات مرة فياله من شخص عظيم.