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One of the questions to be asked of a translated novel is ‘why was this translated?’  The answers can range from the author’s perceived importance, to providing foreign readers with cultural insight, or to publishing economics. (More…)

The Conservative Party Conference was a joke with a flat punchline. The Chancellor tried to cover up his government’s weaknesses by hurling mud at Jeremy Corbyn, while Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg stole the spotlight. But it all came to a head with Theresa May’s speech. It is clear this state of affairs can’t go on forever, but when the end comes the Tories will still have to find a way to turn around their party. (More…)

The division of Syria has not undergone any changes, since the time of Volney. To the pashalik of Aleppo  belongs Aintab, Badjazze, Alexandretta, and Antakia. Damascus comprehends Hebron, Jerusalem, Nablous, Bostra, Hums, and Hama. (More…)

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Dozens of Syrian opposition groups merged last month to form a unified army, at a time when rebel factions are increasingly divided and have suffered a string of defeats at the hands of pro-government and extremist forces. (More…)

Nothing so perfectly illustrates the singular position of the United States among industrialized democracies as the propensity of its citizens to shoot each other in groups four or more. (More…)

We live in confining times. Prison narratives proliferate and disappear quickly. Yet only the occasional narrative, such as Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary (2015), receives sustained attention and then due to its obvious political import. Prison writing is difficult because it forces a double confrontation, both with state and self. (More…)

There are signs all over the world that the national question is still unsettled. The spectacle of police trying to block the Catalan referendum has clarified this much in Spain. But it’s far from the only example. In northern Iraq, the Kurdish people have voted for independence. (More…)

It is quite difficult to suggest that pro wrestling is, or can be, legitimately avant-garde. Barthes’ assertion is true, that “In wrestling, nothing exists except in the absolute, there is no symbol, no allusion, everything is presented exhaustively…”, (More…)

AIN Al-ISSA – In a dank and dingy room in a camp for internally displaced persons in northern Syria, a striking woman wearing mascara and a long black chador steps through a broken door frame. (More…)

When you pay close attention to the way people use bumper stickers in the United States right now, it becomes apparent that they usually serve a countercultural purpose. Because the perception of which culture needs to be countered varies widely, however, it is emphatically not the case that a coherent counterculture, whether left or right-wing, can be discerned from them. (More…)

It began as Colin Kaepernick’s protest against violent policing of African Americans, but now the protests have evolved. Taking a knee during ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is another version of protests against Confederate statues. This speaks to how we regard US history and its legacy of racism. The issue now is more than police violence: it concerns history. (More…)

The German election was a pyrrhic victory for Angela Merkel. She has just enough seats to pull together a new coalition with the Free Democrats and the Green Party. However, the rise of the Alternative for Deutschland, and the loss of the SPD as a junior partner, means Merkel will triangulate further to the right on the refugee question. (More…)