Iraqi Arabic Novelistic Language Play

Laila Lalami reviews a new book from Sinan Antoon, I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody, in The Nation.

I`jaam is presented to us as a manuscript found in 1989 in a file cabinet of the directorate of general security in Baghdad. An introductory page informs us that the manuscript was handwritten with no diacritical marks anywhere on it, which made the task of reading it very difficult. Nevertheless, a state employee named Talal Ahmad is charged with typing the text, and adding diacritical marks and punctuation, but Ahmad chooses to preserve the ambiguities suggested by the absence of dots. For instance, when we encounter the expression "Ministry of Rupture and Inflammation," a footnote alerts us that the words can also be dotted to mean "Ministry of Culture and Information."

Read the whole review

FYI & PS - I'd love a copy.

No hay comentarios.: