martes, 17 de octubre de 2017

The President's Gardens / Susan Cahill/ Luke Leafgren

BOOK NEWS
Is revenge always pointless?
 
newstalk.com
Susan Cahill unpacks the nature of leadership, forgiveness and revenge with writers Colm Tobin and Luke Leafgren, translator of 'The President's Gardens' published by the Mac lehose press.

jueves, 12 de octubre de 2017

Maan Reads: The President's Garden

I read The President's Garden by Muhsin al-Ramli
MAAN READS

In YouTube

Al-Ramli in SLU Madrid

Dr. Al-Ramli Exhibits his Award-Winning Works
Professor Muhsin Al-Ramli, Ph.D. (Modern Languages) presented his award-winning novel, "The President's Gardens" and "Naranjas y cuchillas en Bagdad" a collection of short stories, at a multilingual ceremony on campus.    

Hames Bitar, a well-known Syrian musician in Madrid, set the mood for the evening with live oud music as the attendees arrived. Master of Ceremonies Jaime Ortiz (Assistant Dean) introduced Al-Ramli's works and named the various awards that The President's Gardens received, including the English PEN Award in 2016, The Guardian's Book of the Day for Fiction in April 2017 and finalist for IPAF International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Originally published in Arabic in 2012, the novel has received much praise since the recent release of the English translation.
Al-Ramli then presented himself and shared his life experiences, which have had a great influence on his writing. Ortiz returned to the stage to read "Inmigrante," a short story selected from a collection of Al-Ramli's writings from various periods of his life. Professor Hamish Binns (Modern Languages) read the first two paragraphs of the English version of "The President's Gardens" and Bitar played a piece on the oud. As Bitar played, Al-Ramli read the Arabic version of his poem, "La casa de los amigos." Al-Ramli's students Karelin Torres and Ivan Ozaruk then read the translations of his poem in both Spanish and English.     
At the end of the event, Ortiz asked for questions and comments from the group, which he says were "deep reflections and comments from the audience on the relevance of Al-Ramli's works." As Bitar closed the ceremony with oud music, attendees were invited to enjoy baklava at the book signing reception held in the Student Lounge.
October 9, 2017













martes, 10 de octubre de 2017

SODOBNA IRAŠKA PROZA III: MUHSIN AL-RAMLI



24. 9. 2017 - 18:00    / TU PA TAM
Prevod: Petra Meterc
Interpretacija: Cveto, Lovrenc

V deželi brez banan se je vas zbudila ob prizoru devetih zabojčkov za banane ter odrezane glave enega izmed njenih sinov v vsakem zabojčku. Ob vsaki glavi je bila osebna izkaznica, da bi se žrtve lahko identificiralo, saj so bili nekateri obrazi povsem izmaličeni, bodisi od mučenja pred obglavljenjem ali česa podobnega po pokolu. Značilnih potez po katerih so bili poznani vsa ta leta njihovih preteklih življenj in po katerih bi jih lahko razlikovali, ni bilo več. 

AKTUALNO-POLITIČNE OZNAKE: 
AVTORJI: 
KRAJ DOGAJANJA: 
IRAK 

(Odlomek iz romana Predsednikovi vrtovi)

domingo, 8 de octubre de 2017

Cuentos de Bagdad - Iraq


NARANJAS Y CUCHILLAS EN BAGDAD
Cuentos de Muhsin Al-Ramli 

ISBN: 978-84-946752-3-2
90 págs. 120 grs. 14 x 22 cm.
Encuadernación: rústica con solapas
C/IVA  12 € / S/IVA  11,54 €

NARANJAS Y CUCHILLAS EN BAGDAD Estos cuentos son variados en tema, forma, estilo y lenguaje, porque están escritos y seleccionados de varios libros y etapas de la carrera literaria del autor, una variación que favorece un libro de cuentos, especialmente si se trata de una literatura poco conocida para el lector en castellano.

“Muhsin Al-Ramli profundiza en sus relatos en la realidad cotidiana del ser humano. Sus temas son próximos a nosotros: el amor, la amistad, la religión, la guerra, la mujer, la libertad, pero tratados con auténtica humanidad. Nos deleita con el sabor de una prosa cargada de sorpresas y escrita con el corazón. Al-Ramli es un exiliado universal, parte de su experiencia personal y la universaliza. Igual que fue capaz de sobrevivir la guerra, es también capaz de introducirnos en su mundo de sensaciones al recordarla, no limitándose sólo a la crónica del drama, sino desplegando un tono vitalista y esperanzador. Nos demuestra así una literatura de alta calidad.”
Elena Moratalla, revista (Amanacer), nº53/17-23, España
*****

La escritura del brillante intelectual iraquí Muhsin Al-Ramli refleja de forma entretenida y verídica la realidad”.
Periódico Woxx, nº731/04, Luxemburgo
*****


“Muhsin Al-Ramli desnuda la frase de todo ornamento para que el lenguaje fluya sincero y doloroso”
Revista Avesta nº6, Alemania
*****

Trata temas políticos y sociales de una manera explícita. Su narrativa es universal y casi genérica. Los nombres y las historias podrían estar ubicados en cualquier pequeño pueblo del tercer mundo”.
Kamran Rastegar –Columbia University. EE.UU.
Middle East Studies Bulletin, Vol. 38, nº2
*****


Al-Ramli es uno de los nombres presentes con fuerza en la literatura iraquí contemporánea, sin duda una de las voces creativas más brillantes dentro y fuera de su país. Su escritura está inspirada en la experiencia personal, el sufrimiento durante la dictadura que ahorcó a su hermano, las guerras en las que fue soldado por tres años y el exilio. No en vano Al-Ramli es un luchador destacado por la libertad y en contra de las represiones de los poderes de cualquier tipo”.
Diario Al-Ahram, nº41734, Egipto
*****

*MUHSIN AL-RAMLI.  (Iraq, 1967). Escritor, poeta, traductor y académico. Ha elegido el camino del exilio desde 1993 y vive en Madrid desde 1995. Doctorado en Filología Española, UAM (2003) por su tesis Las huellas de la cultura islámica en el Quijote. Actualmente, es profesor en Saint Louis University, Madrid. Es una gura destacada en la escena cultural árabe. La mayoría de sus obras están traducidas a varios idiomas. Hermano del escritor Hassan Mutlak (considerado como el «Lorca iraquí», y ahorcado por el régimen dictatorial en 1990). En España, cofundó la revista literaria árabe Alwah. Entre sus libros, sobresalen: Regalo del siglo que viene, 1995; En busca de un corazón vivo, 1997; Adiós, primos, 2000, su versión inglesa Scattered Crumbs fue Premio A.T.A. de la Univ. Arkansas, 2002; Las felices noches del bombardeo, 2003; Todos somos viudos de las respuestas, 2005; Dedos de dátiles, 2008, finalista al premio internacional Booker de la novela árabe, 2010. Dormida entre soldados, 2011; Los jardines del presidente, 2012, premio PEN Translates Award, 2016 y finalista al I.P.A.F. 2013; La loba del amor y de los libros, 2015, finalista al Premio Zayed del Libro, 2016. Por sus relatos obtuvo los premios: de los Escritores Jóvenes, Bagdad, 1988 y 1989, y de la Revista Oriente Medio, Londres, 1996.




*En prensa árabe:






jueves, 5 de octubre de 2017

The President’s Garden by Muhsin Al-Ramli


James Pierson

Review published on May 2, 2017. 

This is a novel that I wanted to like more than I actually did like it. The novel was billed as a “contemporary tragedy of epic proportions”, basically it promised to tell the calamitous story of all that has befallen Iraq in the past few decades, but from an Iraqi perspective. There is much literature about the country, both non-fiction and fiction, though most we read in the West is written by us: Westerners, Americans and British. Much of this canon of work is well meaning, a lot of it is insightful and has real worth, but what has been lacking is an Iraqi voice. There is some work published by Iraqis, but not a lot.
So, I hoped that Muhsin Al-Ramli would help fill that void that appears on my bookshelf. To a certain extent, he undoubtedly did. There is much to be admired in this novel, which tells the story of three friends and their immediate families. At risk of sounding patronising, they’re simple folk, peasants from the country who till the land, rear goats, and very rarely stray afar. Then, the war with Iran breaks out, a conflict that was as traumatising for the peoples of those two nations as the Great War of 1914 to 1918 was to Europe. The war with Iran was supposed to be quick, but lasts almost a decade; then, just when peace is established, Iraq’s tyrant Saddam Hussein opts to invade Kuwait. Once again, the village and our three protagonists’ lives are torn asunder as America and her allies kick Saddam’s troops out of the Emirate. One of the friends gets a job as a gardener in one of the presidential palaces (where the book gets its name) and here he sees first-hand the barbarity of the Saddam regime. Finally, we reach 2003 and the invasion of Iraq. Saddam is deposed and the country spirals into a horrific cycle of crime and sectarian murder.
That’s the basic storyline, so what didn’t I like? Well, no doubt I’m going to get critical comments about this, but I found The President’s Garden just too rambling in places. I felt that the publisher needed to reign the author in, that parts of the book needed editing. This is the first novel by the author, Muhsin Al-Ramli, that I’ve read, but apparently, he is an accomplished novelist, academic and poet. Perhaps this explains things. In my experience, writers who reach the pinnacle of their profession can often do what they like; where a lesser author would feel the editor’s pen, they don’t. A good example of this phenomenon is Stephen King, some of whose novels in my opinion could easily lose 100 pages or so. King and Al-Ramli might be working in different genres, but I had the same feeling reading parts of The President’s Garden as I have had when reading some of the horror master’s longer works.
At risk of contradicting all that I’ve just said, at 352 pages, The President’s Garden isn’t that long a novel. But it cuts off almost mid-sentence, which is odd. Apparently, there’s a sequel to come that picks up exactly where this ended. Presumably the sequel will be of a similar length. So, that will be, what? 700 pages in all? Which begs the question, if Al-Ramli had been more disciplined and had written a tighter manuscript, would there be a need for such a strange cut off at the end of the first novel? Would there be need for a sequel at all?

James Pierson 2/4
The President’s Garden by Muhsin Al-Ramli
MacLehose Press 
9780857056788 pbk Apr 2017

jueves, 3 de agosto de 2017