Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Found in translation


The greatest Yiddish-language writer of the 20th century features on a list of 100 books chosen to inaugurate a daring, long-term project to bring landmark foreign works to Arabic-speaking readers.

The Collected Stories Of Isaac Bashevis Singer, by an author who was raised in Poland but for decades dominated Yiddish writing in New York, will join titles ranging from Sophocles and Chaucer to Stephen Hawking and Haruki Murakami among the first selections of the Kalima translation programme.

The Kalima (meaning "word" in Arabic) project aims to revive the art of translation across the Arab world and reverse the long decline in Arabic readers' access to major works of global literature, philosophy, science and history.

"The choices reflect what we consider are the real gaps in the Arab library," said Karim Nagy, the founder and chief executive of the project, which was launched yesterday in Abu Dhabi. "We shy away as far as possible from best-sellers."



Boyd Tonkin in the Independent

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