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Memories of Our Future: Selected Essays 1982-1999by Ammiel Alcalay
Synopses & Reviews
Voted one of the Top 25 Books of 1999 by the Village Voice.
"An outstanding anthology of essays surveying the complexities of Mediterranean cultures; the diverse, changing space of the Balkans, Middle East, and North Africa—areas of diasporas, dislocations, and genocidal exterminations provoked by nationalism and religious fanaticism. Of special interest are his observations and analysis of the Israeli/Palestinian confrontation, Arab/Jewish poetics, and Jewish identity in America."—Midwest Book Review
Table of Contents
Local Politics: The Background as Foreword Ammiel Alcalay
Five Hundred Years After: What Was Left Unsaid about Sepharad
PRELUDES: AN OPENING
weighing the losses, like stones in your hand'
OF BOOKS AND CITIES/ THE JOURNEY
The Quill's Embroidery: Untangling a Tradition
The Quill's Embroidery: Poetry, Tradition, and the Postmodern'
Paris / New York / Jerusalem: The Unscheduled Flight of Edmond Jabes and Jacques Derrida
Desert Solitaire: On Edmond Jabes
For Edouard Roditi
Behind the Scenes: Before After Jews and Arabs
FORBIDDEN TERRITORIES, PROMISED LANDS
After the Last Sky
Who's Afraid of Mahmoud Darwish?
Israel and the Levant: Wounded Kinship's Last Resort'
Forbidden Territory, Promised Lands
In True Colors
Culture without a Country
Too Much Past
The State of the Gulf: Abdelrahman Munif and Hanan al-Shaykh
Our Memory Has No Future: On Etel Adnan
The war was ending, the diasporas beginning'
A Stitch in Time
Court Report: Prolonging a Farce
The Trial: A Real Farce
Ay, de mi aljama': Palestinians and Israelis Meet, in Spain!
Israel / Palestine 101: A Letter to Robert Creeley
Ushering in the New Order: Repercussions from the Gulf War Reflections at the End of 1992
THE RETURN: VARIATIONS ON A THEME
Exploding Identities: Notes on Ethnicity and Literary History
Speaking with Forked Tongues, or Parables of Eq
Book News Annotation:
A collection of essays by a poet, translator, critic, and scholar who mixes personal narrative, political commentary, and literary criticism to survey the diverse, changing space of the Balkans, the Middle East, and North Africa, an area of diasporas, dislocations, and exterminations both past and present. He confronts the deep resistance to change of any kind in this region, drawing on personal experience and close readings of writers who have been excluded or whose identities have been denied. The volume lacks a subject index.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Cultural Writing. As a poet, translator, critic and scholar, Ammiel Alcalay has written for numerous magazines, newspapers and literary journals. In MEMORIES OF OUR FUTURE, the unique intellectual and political path forged by Alcalay over the past fifteen years has now been collected in one volume. Alcalay surveys diverse subjects, among them Mediterranean culture, Arabic literature, the destruction of Carthage, the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict, and the war in Bosnia. Few contemporary intellectuals can boast of as diverse a range of skills and talents as Ammiel Alcalay. His work is cosmopolitan in the best sense: in an epoch of superficial globalism his approach to the cultures he deals with is always rigorous, always meticulously respectful of particularities and differences . . . he is also profoundly alive to the social and political realities that shape cultural production — Amitav Ghosh.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -).
About the Author
Ammiel Alcalay is a poet, translator, critic, and scholar who teaches at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center, where he is the Deputy Chair of the PhD Program in English. His latest work is Scrapmetal (Factory School, 2006). He is also editor and translator of Keys to the Garden, and Semezdin Mehmedinovic's Sarajevo Blues, both published by City Lights. Born in Barcelona in 1931, Juan Goytisolo is Spain's greatest living writer. His books include: Mask of Idenity, The Marx Family Saga, and, State of Siege. He lives in Marrakesh, Morocco.
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