Russia on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
‘The Russian people suffer from a victim complex: they believe that nothing depends on them, and by them nothing can be changed.’
Same-same but different | Discoveries
This week’s Discoveries features translation in all its many articulations.
Soon Comes Night
‘I’d become so used to hiding away inside myself I couldn’t respond with any spontaneity. I was stuck in the shallows of my emotions.’ Ekow Eshun on success, night terrors and therapy.
‘Nothing mesh, the friend who had gotten Tracy the Stuck Girls job told her. This isn’t porn. The guys pay just to watch a regular girl who happens to get stuck.’
‘Maybe you heard about the sticks of dynamite he set along military rail routes, waiting for them to spark and explode.’ New flash fiction from Molly Antopol
Tara Bergin | Is Travel Writing Dead?
‘If you laugh and tell me I am only speaking metaphorically, I will reply: what other way do you expect me to speak?’
The Back Way and the Way Back
Despite emerging from two decades of misrule under Yahya Jammeh, many Gambians still aspire to go ‘the back way’ into Europe.
The Blue Clerk
‘Now you are sounding like me, the clerk says. I am you, the author says.’
John Connell writes of a trial and a murder during the Irish War of Independence.
The Canada Pictures
‘In the year leading up to this I started collecting objects that, in some way, evoked a sense of Canadianness in me.’
The Comrades and I
Mona Abouissa on her experiences with Egyptian communists, and the role they played in Egypt before 1952, when they were excised from official history.
‘Yes. Oh yes. That is who we once were. The Young must never, ever allow themselves to ignore what has brought them here.’
The Martians Claim Canada
‘Mushrooms have long memories. Some of them are thousands of years old. However, they are not always very talkative.’
The New Me
‘But I feel sure. Making some decisions today, no doubt about that! Not thinking about certain things today, no doubt about that!’
The Remains of the Day
‘I am lying in the foetal position on a beach in the east of England.’
The Republic of Motherhood
‘a cardigan / soft as a creature, smelling of birth and milk’ – New poetry from Liz Berry.
‘That supremacist is the idea, in those brothers and sisters of mine, of shyness (which no one understands) being an encumbrance that they should purge as they try to find in their interaction with the world a perfect mixture of disdain, meekness and expansiveness.’
The Secular World
‘There is no lack of talent in this country. All we lack is decent leaders.’ Pakistan’s secular world runs against fundamentalism in Nadeem Aslam’s latest novel, The Golden Legend.
Things I Didn’t Know
‘When people would ask me what I was doing in Istanbul, I would explain that I’m a freelance writer and translator, and I move a lot. I move intuitively, I would say: places call to me.’
Trump Sky Alpha
‘Mr President, we can get you into a bunker with full communication equipment and you can give your address there, you just can’t do it in a goddamn plastic blimp at the start of World War III.’
‘Fingers twirl / composite stems whose colour / twist rock-candies, snake-ladders / precious yellow, less-rare green.’
‘it’s philosophy / coming from everyone at once // like a ballgown worn by the sky’
‘There’s just no way, unassisted, to commit suicide. But then there’s no way to be just a human, isolated, stripped or just stripped of contexts – because even a cell must have a floor, a ceiling, walls.’
What is it that hurts?
‘Our visibility and our affirmation as a people is established through our language.’
Who Is Like God
‘I grew up thinking He was folded into her body, very gently, like when she folded sifted icing sugar into beaten egg white, those kinds of loving corners.’