Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Wednesday, July 25

Named for the Arabic word whose triliteral root - ayn, jeem, meem - holds such antithetical meanings as to clarify and elucidate and to make ambiguous and foreign, "I'jaam" follows the prison diaries of Furat, a young poet who keeps a record of his dreams and nightmares during his incarceration in Baghdad. Already jailed for writing off the official script, Furat takes precautions: He obscures the meaning of his words by leaving off the diacritical dots that distinguish about half of the letters in the Arabic alphabet from one another.

Two memos bracket the narrative: One acknowledges the discovery of Furat's manuscript and assigns the task of deciphering it; the other reports back on the task's completion. Whether by accident or design, the second memo leaves readers to puzzle over the liberties taken in the translation and interpretation of the text that lies before it. Meaning in "I'jaam" is forcefully unstable, and the recuperation of Furat's writing is deliberately, creatively left open to question.

—"A ruined manuscript, a broken country and the cryptic missives of a young man from Baghdad," in The Daily Star (Lebanon), by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie (who worked, long, long ago, at the PTSNBN)

I am always attracted to words like manuscript and cryptic, aren't you?

(Via Complete Review)

* * *

From Jane Dark's Sugarhigh:

[O]ne way to understand [Transformers] is as a sort of measuring device displaying the necessary distance of fantasy at which the events in question can be screened. Or as a particular registration of the certainty that this one day in history is to be the Rosetta Stone of American cultural imagery for the foreseeable future.

* * * posts "Track One" of B. Kite's Rivette opus, originally seen in the pages of Cinema Scope. How's this for a beginning? I love how it's one huge, continent-sized sentence...

When a submerged continent rises suddenly to the surface, and one is able to visit territories that had been relegated to the fabulous by their previous inaccessibility, and trace continuities and significant ruptures between what had seemed isolated promontories, when there are new languages to learn and histories to uncover in urban centers still impossibly vibrant with life despite their decades of undercover existence, that, you may say, is a hell of a thing, and one steps out onto ground still redolent of fish and spackled with seaweed with excitement and apprehension, not least at the fact of one's own inevitable inadequacy as explorer, at a time when one stays close to home, keeping company with the cats, so seldom finding new neighborhoods, let alone new worlds.

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