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The Bridges of Constantine

The Bridges of Constantine [Kindle Edition]

Ahlem Mosteghanemi , Raphael Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description


The most successful woman writer in the Arab world (Forbes)

Ahlem has carved a place for herself as one of the most important writers of the Arab world. (Youssef Chahine, Egyptian Film-Maker Youssef Chahine, Egyptian film-maker)

Book Description

Memory in the Flesh is a love story set in Paris between Khaled, a painter and former fighter in Algeria's wars of independence, and Hayat, the daughter of a revolutionary hero, who is beginning a career as a writer.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 633 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1408846403
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (5 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #251,601 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Choose your translation 31 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you're thinking of reading more than one Mosteghanemi book, then you need to know that Bridges of Constantine and Memory in the Flesh are the same book. It's useful to know even if you're only interested in reading this one book, because the translations are so different that it'll make a big difference to your experience of her writing. Instead of reviewing the book (it's good, OK?) I'll just say something about the two versions. I'm not great at Arabic so I enlisted a Moroccan friend's help, and through the medium of French (the only language we both speak) we tried to get a feeling for how each English version represents the original Arabic - and yes his Arabic is Moroccan not Algerian but at least it's close, and more importantly it made him consider possible meanings more openly.
My understanding is that Memory in the Flesh is a very faithful translation of the original words and sentences. Not quite word-for-word, but aiming for that kind of accuracy. This gives the book a hard-edged feeling of precision, which in some of the more painful passages is like a knife. It really works for detail, and if you prefer your emotional turmoil pulled apart analytically then maybe this is the version for you.
Bridges of Constantine is attempting something very ambitious - to be faithful to the atmosphere of the book, to use the words that will make an English speaker feel the way an Arabic speaker would when reading the original; in other words, to translate the poetry. To me, it feels very unlike reading a translation at all, which is the biggest compliment I can give to the translator.

I can't recommend one over the other, surely it'll depend on your personal literary tastes. The best thing I can do it give you examples.
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