Anthropology Program, Bard Translation and Translatability Initiative, Center for Human Rights and the Arts, Middle Eastern Studies Program, and Written Arts Program Present
Politics of Literature and Translation In the Novels of Bachtyar Ali
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm EDT/GMT-4
Guest lecturers Kareem Abdulrahman and Bachtyar Ali
Politics has at least two faces in the works of Iraqi Kurdish novelist Bachtyar Ali. While his characters are in a constant search to prove their humanity, politics often appears as a barrier in that search. In The Last Pomegranate Tree, for example, a meditation on fatherhood is intertwined with the discovery of increasing corruption in political leadership. Why does salvation seem to fall beyond politics? Given the recent history of Iraqi Kurdistan, what is the significance of politics in literature? Yet another face is the politics of literature: Kurdish language has lived on the margins of the more dominant languages in the Middle East for centuries. In this context, literary translation could be seen as an effort to put the Kurds, the largest minority group without their own nation state, on the cultural map of the world. Here the expression that the translator is a “traitor” may ring hollow when the translator appears first of all as an activist with loyalties. What then are the politics of translating Kurdish literature in the contemporary world? This event invites conversation and reflection with a novelist and his translator.
For more information, call 845-758-7662, or e-mail [email protected].
Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm EDT/GMT-4
Location: Hegeman 201
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