English translations

 

 

Little Things ("Les Petites Choses", extract of "Le soleil se meurt"), poetry. Translated by Alan Baker, Leafe Press (Nottingham, UK), 2013

"It writes
from right to left
from left to right
It's called migratory language"

The Bottom of the Jar ("Le Fond de la jarre") , novel. Translated by André Naffis-Sahely, Archipelago Books (New York, USA), 2013

"Laâbi’s narrative draws deeply on his own childhood in Fez during the late 1940s and especially the 1950s. The writer has a fine eye for the telltale details of daily life, for the personality traits of colorful characters, for the labyrinthine urban layout of the town. The Bottom of the Jar is one of the most evocative portraits of the town that has ever been written." (John Taylor, Fuse Book Review, Apr. 2013)

 

The Rule of Barbarism ("Le Règne de barbarie"), poetry. Translated by André Naffis-Sahely, Island Position (Brooklyn - Gorée - Maastricht), 2012

One of the most daring poetic visions of the second half of the twentieth century. The Rule of Barbarism is a devastating flight through consciousness, acquainting the reader with the trials of a society caught between a colonial past and the tragic realities of a brutal dictatorship. Analysing the presence of "'barbarism" inherent in all of us, and yet deepening our capacity for compassion despite the allure of revenge, this stunning debut from a writer on the threshold of a groundbreaking career can be read as an epic of love, empathy, anger and despair – and is as resonant today as when composed nearly fifty years ago.

 

The Jackal’s Baptism ("Le Baptême chacaliste"), play. Translated by Gordon and Nancy Hadfield, Mayday Magazine (Ontario, Canada), 2010

 

Fragments of a forgotten genesis ("Fragments d'une genèse oubliée"), poetry. Translated by Nancy Hadfield and Gordon Hadfield, Leafe Press
(Nottingham, UK), 2009

"Abdellatif Laâbi, without a doubt the major francophone voice in Morocco today, writes with a quiet, unassuming elegance that holds and hides the violence any act of creation proposes. This is doubly true in his retelling of this story of a Forgotten Creation — is it a fragmentary story or the full story of a fragmentary creation?" (Pierre Joris)

 

The World's Embrace (selected poems). Translated by Anne George, Edris Makward, Victor Reinking and Pierre Joris, City Lights Books,
San Francisco, 2003

"He moves with ease from the elegiac to the whimsical, or from the intensely personal to the proverbial. Much of his longer works are poems of witness and remembrance and, in prophetic moments, reflect a vision of the whole teeming, suffering human continent in its quest for healing and harmony." (Victor Reinking, "Introduction")

 

Rue du Retour ("Le Chemin des ordalies"), novel. Translated by Jacqueline Kaye, Readers Intenational, London, 1989

"The narrative structure of Rue du Retour is impressively intricate. The author renders the complexity of the political prisoner’s thoughts and emotions by skillfully blending childhood memoirs, love letters to his beloved, graphic descriptions of prison life (especially of torture), dreams, visions, even bits of political propaganda. More than a testimony and a plea, this intense prose poem often attains a hallucinatory fervor." (John Taylor, San Francisco Chronicle, October 1989)

 

 

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