Translated from the Arabic by LILY SADOWSKY
Piece appears below in both English and Arabic.
In “James Joyce” (1982), a stifled writer engages a hallucinatory Joyce in dialogue about writing, and in so doing, interrogates not only what—but also who—makes a great writer. Combining his trademark intertextuality with tense mixing and pronoun ambiguity, Zafzaf creates a haze of temporal unease. But however lost in time our writer is, he is distinctly aware of his place. Creative mastery is never simply a matter of skill but always also a question of positionality and circumstance. The freedom to be authentic or make new, to mean or will, is not equally free for all. Time is unstable; remembrance, unbalanced.