The Last Bookstore and the Los Angeles Review of Books are pleased to present the editors and translators of Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics. Join Olivia C. Harrison, Guy Bennett, and Lia Brozgal for this special book launch event on Thursday March 24 at 7:30 PM, sponsored by the Los Angeles Review of Books, and learn about an incandescent corpus of experimental leftist writing from North Africa — now made available in English for the first time.
Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics makes available, for the first time in English, an incandescent corpus of experimental leftist writing from North Africa. Founded in 1966 by Abdellatif Laâbi and several other avant-garde Moroccan poets and banned in 1972, Souffles-Anfas was one of the most influential literary, cultural, and political reviews to emerge in postcolonial North Africa. An early forum for tricontinental postcolonial thought and writing, the journal published texts ranging from experimental poems, literary manifestoes, and abstract art to political tracts, open letters, and interviews by some of the period’s most important artists and intellectuals, including Abdelkebir Khatibi, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Albert Memmi, Abraham Serfaty, Etel Adnan, Sembene Ousmane, Amilcar Cabral, René Depestre, and Mohamed Melehi.
This talk charts the journal’s evolution from Francophone poetry review to French and Arabic tribune of the radical left and highlights its interventions into key postcolonial debates, including the uses of French and Arabic in the Maghreb, studies of the Maghrebi Jewish diaspora, and the question of Palestinian sovereignty. Reflections on the journal’s resonances with the recent pro-democracy protests across North Africa and the Middle East as well as the renewed struggle for civil rights in the United States will allow us to assess the journal’s enduring legacy in Morocco, the Maghreb, and the decolonizing world.
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