Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Only Way To Get Read In Today's World: Sayed Kashua

Some writers lend themselves to translation much better than others. A short while ago I heard on the radio program This American Life (501: The View From In Here, JUL 26, 2013) a story by the Arab-Israeli writer Sayed  Kashua. I was impressed, but not surprised, at how well Kashua’s story came across in English. I read the original in Hebrew and his insights, subtle criticism of both the Israelis and the Palestinians, and his wit shone in English as well as they did in Hebrew. As an Arab in Israel, Kashua is constantly translating from Arabic to Hebrew and from Hebrew to Arabic. His biography is the embodiment of translation: he was born in the Arab village of Tira, and in school he learnt both Arabic and Hebrew. 

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