Angry Voices: An Anthology of the Off-Beat New Egyptian Poets

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Overview


A new movement is emerging in Egyptian literature—urban in its energies; cosmopolitan in its national, Arabic, and western influences; and independent and rowdy in its voice. For centuries, Arabic literature mandated traditional, unchanging, highly structured language and forms. In the 1960s and 1970s, writers rebelled to write in a variety of vernaculars. Now, young Egyptian poets are inventing new ways of writing. Rejecting both traditional Arabic formalism and the vernacular rebellion—and, contradictorily, drawing equally on these traditions and others—they radically combine and recombine influences and bring new experiences into their poetry. They embrace experimentation. Rejected at first by the literary establishment, these poets founded their own magazines, one of which appropriated a derisive term that had been used to dismiss them: Locusts. Now one of Egypt's most honored translators and writers has joined with one of those Locusts to gather a selection of this postmodern writing in one place for the first time. With its edginess and play of styles, this collection showcases a dynamic, emergent scene.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Enani's invaluable introduction provides the reader with essential information on the classical Arab poetic tradition vis-à-vis its practitioners on the one hand, and those who seek to break with it on the other. Not only English-speaking readers but also native Arabs not deeply immersed in their literary heritage will gain new understanding of the conflict between old and new." —Dalia El-Shayal, Department of English, Cairo University

"A superb and unprecedented translation of contemporary Arabic poetry from Egypt. This volume speaks to the contemporary Arabic cultural scene by juxtaposing poetries that have generated controversy—vernacular poems, prose poems, as well as new poems in the formal tongue—and by boldly, carefully, and elegantly presenting a range of poetry that has not always received warm welcome in its home territory." —Marilyn Booth, translator of Nawal Sadawi's Memoirs from the Women's Prison (California, 1994) and author of May Her Likes Be Multiplied: Biography and Gender Politics in Egypt (California, 2001)

From the Publisher

"Enani's invaluable introduction provides the reader with essential information on the classical Arab poetic tradition vis-à-vis its practitioners on the one hand, and those who seek to break with it on the other. Not only English-speaking readers but also native Arabs not deeply immersed in their literary heritage will gain new understanding of the conflict between old and new."

--Dalia El-Shayal, Department of English, Cairo University

"A superb and unprecedented translation of contemporary Arabic poetry from Egypt. This volume speaks to the contemporary Arabic cultural scene by juxtaposing poetries that have generated controversy--vernacular poems, prose poems, as well as new poems in the formal tongue--and by boldly, carefully, and elegantly presenting a range of poetry that has not always received warm welcome in its home territory."

--Marilyn Booth, translator of Nawal Sadawi's

Memoirs from the Women's Prison (California, 1994) and author of

May Her Likes Be Multiplied: Biography and Gender Politics in Egypt

(California, 2001)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557287434
  • Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Series: Arabic Translation Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Mohamed Enani is the founder and general editor of the State Publishing House's translation series Contemporary Arabic Literature, which comprises over one hundred translations. He is the editor of both Sutour, an international literary magazine, and the Egyptian Theater magazine. He has been a professor of English and chair of the English department at Cairo University and is the recipient of many honors and awards. Mohamed Metwalli, an editor and translator, is the co-founder and co-editor of Garad (Locusts) magazine.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Why Are Seamen Always Miserable? 3
" - " 6
Dali 8
Behind the House 9
A Tale 11
The Wall of Genesis 15
Childhood Wall 17
Anwar Kamel Celebrates Le Quatorze Juillet 18
If I Were a God 21
Untitled 24
This Is How the Magician Produces a Dove out of the Hat 27
There Is Music Going Down the Stairs 29
We Must Be Assured That a Fine Poet Will Be Born, Even after Fifteen Years 31
A Morning Window 32
A Relic 33
Aida 33
Streets of Black and White 36
In Front of the House 40
The Mermaid 41
A Bird Close to Old Houses 41
A Village Near a Church 42
Archeology 44
Declining Sun 47
Dust Storm 50
I Considered Myself 52
A Child Hunting Tales 55
Nearly Three Million Years Ago 59
Nightmares Fit to Arouse Misgivings 60
Neutrality 62
Repetition 62
Too Many Times 63
A Portrait 64
A Dance with Nothing On, with Nobody Around 65
Thermometer of Happiness 68
No Need to Discourage Dreams 70
A Personal Portrait 72
A Good Man Talking to Himself 73
The Sadder Man 77
Charlie Chaplin 80
The Singer 81
For Heiner Muller 83
Don Quixote and the Flour Mills 87
Half a Lemon, Half a Cigarette, and Half a Desire to Have It Off 90
The Devil's Symbol 91
Truth: I Have Five Fingers on Each Hand! 93
The Harem 95
Troy 97
Marionette 100
On the Declaration of Joy 103
Small Bodies That Cannot Be Heeded 104
I Can Talk to Them 106
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