Habib Tengour, translated by Pierre Joris
HABIB TENGOUR, writer and ethnologist, born in Mostaganem (Algeria) in 1947, is considered as one of the Maghreb's most forceful and visionary poetic voices of the post-colonial era. Tengour, who authored a "Manifesto of Maghrebian Surrealism" in 1981, "explores the Algerian cultural space in all its ramifications: the oral and hagiographic traditions, the popular imagination and the founding myths, collective memory, raï music and the lived experiences of exile--all this in writing formally so profoundly hybridized that the critics have forged a term to define this phenomenon, namely 'soufialism'" (Hédi Abdel-Jaouad). His publications include L'Epreuve de l'Arc (1990), his "maqamât-novel," Gens de Mosta (1997), a novel composed of short stories, and Ce Tatar-là (1999) a poem set in the working class suburbs. Le Poisson de Moïse, his 2001 novel, tries to understand what makes young Algerians eager to join the Taliban.
PIERRE JORIS has moved between the U.S., Great Britain, North Africa, France and Luxembourg for close to half a century. He has published over 40 books of poetry, essays and translations, most recently Canto Diurno #4: The Tang Extending from the Blade, an Ahadada ebook, 2010. His translations include Paul Celan: Selections (University of California Press) and 4×1: Work by Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey & Habib Tengour translated by Pierre Joris from Inconundrum Press. With Jerome Rothenberg he edited Poems for the Millennium, vol. 1 & 2: The University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry.