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Hala Halim - "Internationalist and Surrealist Inflections in Edwar al-Kharrat’s Resistant Literary Modernity"

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 4:45pm

Kaufmann Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall
ICM Lecture Series

Associate Professor, Comparative Literature History; Middle Eastern Studies, New York University

Although criticism of Arabic literature has increasingly interrogated the Nahda thesis whereby the Arab world awakens into modernity at the hands of the West and witnesses a literary revival by dint of translation and borrowing genres from Europe, much scope remains to foreground challenges and alternative formulations. This presentation addresses the Egyptian novelist, poet, and critic Edwar al-Kharrat (1926-2015) to extrapolate his articulations of an Arab literary modernity resistant to Eurocentrism. Taking stock of both his literary and critical texts, the presentation treats the critically overlooked import of the internationalist and surrealist aspects of al-Kharrat’s project.

Seminar, "On Translations of Edwar al-Kharrat’s Fiction into English"

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 10:00am

Toboggan Lodge, Cornell University

The fiction of Edwar al-Kharrat (1926-2015) poses a set of challenges to any translator, not least because it draws on several genres and deploys an array of linguistic registers. Drawing on Translation Studies, this seminar will consider various aspects of published English translations of Edwar al-Kharrat’s fiction, with attention to translators’ prefatory notes and translational strategies. Knowledge of Arabic not necessary for participating in the seminar.

Hala Halim is an associate professor of comparative literature and Middle Eastern studies at New York University. Her book Alexandrian Cosmopolitanism: An Archive (Fordham University Press, 2013) received an Honorable Mention for the Harry Levin Prize for First Book from the American Comparative Literature Association. She has translated two novels from Arabic: Mohamed El-Bisatie’s Clamor of the Lake—which received an Egyptian State Incentive Award in literature for translation and was selected as runner up for the first London-based Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation—and Mahmoud Al-Wardani’s Heads Ripe for Plucking. Her current projects include editing Bernard de Zogheb’s unpublished libretti and a study that develops her previous work on the Egyptian novelist and critic Edwar al-Kharrat.

All events are free and open to the public.

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