Sinan Antoon in Stockholm: Translation and Literature of/on Iraq


This also appears on the excellent e-magazine Arab Hyphen, which provides in-depth coverage of Arab arts and literature:

By Tasnim Qutait

sinanOn October 19th, Iraqi writer and literary translator Sinan Antoon visited Stockholm University for an afternoon lecture entitled “Living Here and There: Travel and Exile in Arabic Literature.” Antoon’s talk was attended by an interesting mix of Swedish Arabic-language teachers and students, and some Arab exiles and “in-betweeners,” those who are neither fully at home in their countries of origin (having left those countries too young) nor fully comfortable in an established diaspora community (having arrived here too old).  In many ways, the perfect audience for a discussion of exile in Arabic literature.

Antoon examined the tensions of exile, violence and nostalgia in poems by Iraqi poets Saadi Youssef and Sargon Boulus. The paradoxes of Youssef’s “Nostalgia, My Enemy” paved the way for the discussion. On the one hand…

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