Category Archives: Passages and Homes

…transits, translations, and occasional transgressions.

John Berger, again…

~~I heard the news of John Berger’s death in the late afternoon, around tea and dried fruit, with friends.  There was a moment of silence, and then words of sadness, not so much about how brilliant of a thinker and … Continue reading

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John Berger…

~~John Berger died today. It is a sad evening for those of us who loved his writing, his presence, his humanity; who loved the weave of art and life that was his way; who loved his mix of curiosity, knowledge, … Continue reading

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Englishing Krikor Beledian

Krikor Beledian is the preeminent Western Armenian man of letters: literary critic, novelist, poet, Beledian has been writing prolifically since the mid 1960s.  Difficult, complex, even “unreadable” by some, Beledian’s writing resists quick passage– from its native Western Armenian to … Continue reading

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A Volga in Yerevan…

The weather is changing in Yerevan; winter is almost here. The evening, especially, are on the cold side, often rainy, the streets wet under the light drizzle. It’s true what everyone says about such Yerevan evenings, when you leave a … Continue reading

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Aleppo, of memory…

~~I wrote this article in 2005, and could not get it published although several “major” US newspapers showed interest only to withdraw at the last minute.  I can speculate, but that’s an obscene luxury now that Aleppo has been reduced … Continue reading

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Alice Samuelian Aslanian has died…

~~I found out today that Alice Samuelian Aslanian, co-owner of Librarie Orientale in Paris, has died, only a month after the passing of her brother and co-owner of the Librairie, Armen Aslanian. These two deaths of brother and sister mark … Continue reading

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At Finisterre’s edge of the world…

From time to time, and usually in the summer, I post photographs that friends send back from their travels–South America, the Balkan countries, the Middle East, anywhere and everywhere a traveler’s fancy has taken them for pleasure or pilgrimage, fun … Continue reading

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The Eyes of Yerevan

This essay of mine appeared in Agni Review, #49, 1999. Given all that has happened in Armenia in the last 15 years or so, not to mention the urban and human transformation of Yerevan during this period, the essay is … Continue reading

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Theeb, the Other of Lawrence’s Arabia

~~Today I saw Theeb, Naji Abu Nowar’s directorial debut and Jordan’s entry to this year’s Academy nominations in the Best Foreign Film category. A first, for sure. Theeb is a marvelous film in conception, cinematography, and narrative force.  Abu Nowar … Continue reading

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“The Shoes” by Nassir Ibrahim

~~Today, the Palestinians nakba begins its 69th year.  On this sad occasion, I am re-posting my translation of Nassir Ibrahim’s “The Shoes.” It appeared in Words Without Borders in 2006. ~~ The Shoes Perhaps it is merely a clever joke, … Continue reading

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