Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: Literature

Literature

Magazine cover of "Top Notch" which published Robert E Howard's stories, including Hawk of the Hill - a El Borak story in June 1935

Afghanistan in World Literature (IV): Weird Tales from the Frontier

Fabrizio Foschini

Throughout the last couple of centuries, the way foreign authors, both novelists and scholars, have portrayed Afghans has had an impact on how Afghanistan itself is perceived. One such writer, a bestseller in his day, although now less well known, is the 1920s-30s fantasy and adventure writer, Robert E Howard. His novels stand out, says […]

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Obituary: The master of modern Pashto ghazal passes away

Borhan Osman

One of Afghanistan’s most important poets, Muhammad Seddiq Pasarly, has died, aged 85. Known popularly as the ‘Master of Pashto Ghazal’ (Pashto love poems), Pasarly also translated works by Indian poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and Persian poet and philosopher Omar Khayyam for Pashto readers. AAN’s Borhan Osman has written this obituary.   What is youth? It is […]

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Dangerous ‘truth’: The Kabul women’s poetry club

AAN

BBC, 21 October 2013 Lyse Doucet's story about Kabul's Mirman (Mrs) Baheer literary society, continuing a tradition of women's poetry from Malalai and Rabia Balkhi: "We take pure and sacred words and express our feelings with those words. But I know my society has this belief that writing poetry is a sin."

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Taliban poetry book denounced by former British commander

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Guardian, 4 May 2012 Richard Kemp, a former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, doesn’t like Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn’s anthology of Taleban poetry just to be published. He cautioned against ‘being taken in by a lot of self-justifying propaganda […]. What we need to remember is that these are fascist, murdering […]

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Guest Blog: An Afghan Pulitzer Prize Winner

Martin Gerner

Afghan photojournalist Massoud Hossaini, who has worked for AFP news agency in Kabul since 2007, won the Pulitzer prize in the category of ‘Breaking News Photography’ earlier this week. Hossaini is the first ever Afghan to win the highly prestigious Pulitzer prize, sought after by top journalists worldwide. AAN guest blogger Martin Gerner, a media […]

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Afghanistan in World Literature (III): Kabuliwalas of the Latter Day

Fabrizio Foschini

To inaugurate the new course of our Chat Mat column, here we resume our old series aimed at unearthing precious Afghan gems from the stockpile of world literature. Having presented some Victorian pearls earlier in the series, it is time to move to closer quarters, to India and to what was arguably its most anglicised […]

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Women and Reconciliation (4): A Response to Anatol Lieven’s Afghan Books Review

Sari Kouvo

Never propose a political system or solution for anybody that you could not live with yourself, not even for women. AAN’s Sari Kouvo comments on Anatol Lieven’s review ‘Afghanistan: The Best Way to Peace’ in the February 2012 issue of the New York Review of Books and notes that Lieven’s ‘best way’ for women is […]

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Guest blog: The logic of bandit life: From 20th century Chinese bandits to the contemporary Afghan insurgency

Deedee Derksen

Chinese bandits never cleaned their guns before noon. That could lead to an attack by the enemy. They didn’t say ‘tiger’ or ‘spirit’, as these words would bring bad luck. Socks were ‘smelly tubes’, bullets ‘white rice’, and they called giving up banditry ‘washing their hands’. Deedee Derksen reads ‘Bandits in Republican China’ by Phil […]

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Lost voices of Afghanistan (audio)

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BBC World Service, 21 January 2011 Remind yourself of the lost voices of Afghanistan: Afghans read and discuss war poetry. Beautiful, harrowing and very human.

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How to write about Pakistan

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Granta magazin, 28 September 2010 Four Pakistani writers say how. From one proposal: 1. Must have mangoes. […] 8. Characters originating in rural areas must fight to prove that their mango is bigger than yours. See what is in between 1) and 8) and what comes after.

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Afghanistan in World Literature (II): Dr Watson Sent Packing

Thomas Ruttig

With part II of this series, we present a few pieces of colonial literature, featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling. This part, of course, is clearly not exhausted yet. An apparent survivor of another Afghan tragedy became famous amongst fans of crime literature: no one less than Dr Watson, assistant of the masterly […]

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Afghanistan in World Literature (I): Only One Came Home from Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig

A not too serious Essay: It wasn’t always the case that Afghanistan was a household name around the world as it is today. Before 1979 when the Soviet invasion suddenly brought Afghanistan to everyone’s attention, even world-class writers would rarely touch upon Afghanistan at all. A few exceptions will follow in this series. PREFACE It […]

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