Transcript 2001 - 2014

The Mediterranean, that mythical sea of many names, has been and continues to be defined by its incredible artistic wealth. For this issue of Transcript, we have gathered together voices from an astounding variety of Mediterranean cultures and languages. We hope that when they sound here on the website, each will reflect the other, entering into new kinds of dialogue.

Transcript readers in all three languages will find a fascinating interview with Thierry Fabre from the MuCEM Museum in Marseille during which Fabre, the museum’s program director, speaks like Camus of the “present richness” of artistic creation on both shores of the Great White Sea. Another exciting, never before published feature of the issue is a selection from the correspondence of writers Mohamed Berrada and Mohamed Choukri. The letters, translated into English by Simona Schneider, are dark, intimate reflections on writerly and human existence in Morocco during the second half of the 20th century. Readers of this issue will also be able to discover a great variety of fiction and poetry. A selection of Alex Epstein’s Short-Short Stories, translated from the Hebrew, poems by Palestinian poet Mazen Maarouf, and an excerpt from Albanian writer Fatos Kongoli’s novel, The Loser, about life under the Hoxha dictatorship, are just a few.

As in each issue of Transcript, literary genres abound: there are poems, stories, chronicles, and more, all translated from a surprising array of languages.

In honor of the one hundred year birthday of Albert Camus, an important figure for the Mediterranean region, we invite you on what we hope will be a captivating journey through the waters of an often surprising sea. Indeed for Camus, “never has such a country, if not the Mediterranean Sea, carried me both so far yet so close to myself” (L’envers et l’endroit, A. Camus).

Happy reading!

The images in this issue are from photographers Jean-Pierre Vallorani and Simon Duclut-Rasse, or come from personal libraries.