The Anti-Orientalist

There is a wonderful story on Juan Goytisolo in the New York Times today...

Considered by many to be Spain's greatest living writer, Goytisolo is in some ways an anachronistic figure in today's cultural landscape. His ideas can seem deeply unfashionable. For him, writing is a political act, and it is the West, not the Islamic world, that is waging a crusade. He is a homosexual who finds gay identity politics unappealing and who lived for 40 years with a French woman he considers his only love. "I don't like ghettos," he informed me. "For me, sexuality is something fluid. I am against all we's." The words most commonly used to describe his writing are "transgressive," "subversive," "iconoclastic."

For much of the last 25 years, Goytisolo has lived in a kind of Paul Bowlesian exile in an old house in Marrakesh's medina. In Morocco, he has been able to indulge his passion for Muslim culture — a passion that includes a scholarly interest in Sufi theology, the finer points of Arabic and Turkish grammar and a self-confessed predilection for working-class Arab men.

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