Hosted ByUrsula Lindsey & M Lynx Qualey

BULAQ is a podcast about contemporary writing from and about the Middle East and North Africa. We talk about books written in Aleppo, Cairo, Marrakech and beyond. We look at the Arab region through the lens of literature, and we look at literature -- what it does, why it matters, how it relates to society and history and politics -- from the point of view of this part of the world. BULAQ is hosted by Ursula Lindsey and M Lynx Qualey and co-produced by Sowt.

The Not So Simple Past

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This episode focuses on Driss Chraibi’s The Simple Past (Le Passé Simple), a Moroccan novel about a very angry young man in revolt against his father’s tyranny and the hypocrisies of his colonial education. Back in 1954, it was compared to an explosion – and it still packs a punch today.

Show Notes:

The Simple Past was newly re-issued from NYRB Classics in Hugh A. Harter’s 1990 translation, with a new introduction from Adam Shatz. Shatz’s introduction is available online at the NYR Daily.

Excerpts from Chraibi’s interview with Federico Arbós can be found at Fragmentos de la entrevista con Federico Arbós, El Mundo/La Esfera, 28/3/92.

This episode also references Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy and the father figure of Si Sayyed; Waguih Ghali’s Beer in the Snooker Club; and Tayib Saleh’s Season of Migration to the North.

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