Margellos Series

In Timbuktu with Jean Paul de Dadelsen

Two thousand and eleven, when palm trees without numberRustled, shading tomatoes and cucumbersAll around Timbuktu,And mental trees, planted by the town council,Offered orchards to every studious sibylAnd to sleepers too! This is the opening stanza of “The Orchards of Timbuktu” by Jean-Paul de Dadelsen, translated from the French by Marilyn

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In the Olive Orchard with Luigi Pirandello

Luigi Pirandello, the great twentieth-century Italian playwright, was also a maestro of the short story. In Virginia Jewiss’ introduction to her new translation of Pirandello’s short stories, she writes, “The Pirandello we meet here is a master storyteller, with an ear for dialogue, an eye for revealing details, and a keen sense of the crushing burdens of class,

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Trouble in Sant’Anna

Luigi Pirandello— Without knowing how or why, one fine day Jaco Naca found himself the owner of the whole sunny hillside below the city, from which there was a magnificent view of the open countryside, of hills and valleys and plains, and in the distance the sea, far away, after

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The Verbal Imperialism of “Germany, Awaken!”

Karl Kraus— A literary man sensitive to fine writing might even understand my position and recognise that, in the journalism and rhetoric of the new creed, we have not seen or heard a single German verbal expression that has not belied its purported content. Among the many neologisms inspired by

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Travel-in-Place

Just because we can’t travel doesn’t mean our minds have to stay put. Here are some books to satisfy your wanderlust from the comfort and safety of your own home. A writer for whom the journey has always mattered reinvents the very form itself in this inviting collection of in-the-moment

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Escape through Fiction

There is something to be said about leaving reality behind for a bit. These works of fiction will take you around the world and beyond. “If China has one possibility of a Nobel laureate it is Can Xue.” —Susan Sontag “[Can Xue] invites comparison to the century’s masters of decay

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I Live in the Slums

Can Xue— I live in the slums. I didn’t settle firmly on one place to live. I could stay anywhere as long as it had a stove. This area produces coal: all the homes used coal to keep fires burning at night. I just lay in a corner of the

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Leaving Baghdad

Sinan Antoon— I put my bag next to Roy’s big bag close to the front door and went to the hotel restaurant, a small room with four tables and a door that led to the kitchen. Abed, the waiter, saw me from inside the kitchen and we exchanged greetings. I

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The Punishment

Tahar Ben Jelloun— July 16, 1966, is one of those mornings that my mother has tucked away in a corner of her memory, she says, so she can remember to tell her gravedigger all about it. A gloomy morning with a white and pitiless sky.  Many words have gone missing

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Celebrating World Poetry Day: Five International Poets You Don’t Want to Miss

In honor of World Poetry Day, we are revisiting some of our most beloved poetry volumes in the Yale Margellos series. From ancient traditions of kabbalah to contemporary voices from Ukraine, Greece, and Syria, poetry’s capacity to reimagine the limits of language is as old as humankind itself. From violent

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