20: Stolen in Translation
We talk about looking down on dialect; passing literary theft off as “salvation”; the beginning of awards season; a book that is a fragmented portrait of Jerusalem; and our fellow podcasters in the region.
The controversy over the appearance of some darija (Moroccan colloquial) words in a Moroccan school textbook reached the highest levels of government.
Since we recorded Episode 20, Israel’s Resling Publishing has pulled a short-story collection, Horreya, in which they published women’s short stories translated from Arabic to Hebrew. Resling’s statement says that they are investigating the matter. The cover image, by the Lebanese cartoonist Hasan Bleibel, was also taken without permission, and the artist was not credited for his work. Earlier, Resling’s chief editor, Idan Zivoni, gave a statement that was translated and posted on Hyperallergic.
The shortlist for the first-ever ArabLit Story Prize was announced September 15; longlists for the major French literary prizes have also appeared. Moroccan author Meryem Alaoui made the Goncourt longlist with her La verite sort de la bouche du cheval, and Syrian novelist Samar Yazbek made the Prix Femina longlist with Khaled Osman's translation of her المشّاءة, translated to La Marcheuse in the French, and working title The Blue Pen in English.
The work of postcard-like fragment-stories set in Jerusalem is Mahmoud Shukair’s Jerusalem Stands Alone, which has recently been translated by Nicole Fares for Syracuse University Press.