Author: Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine
Translator: Conor Bracken
Publisher: Cleveland State University Press (2019)
"Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine (1941–November 18, 1995) was one of the most prodigious, ferocious Moroccan writers of his time—a time defined by political upheaval, repression, exile, and change. His first novel, Agadir, won the Enfants Terribles Prize founded by Jean Cocteau, and his poetry earned him comparisons to Rimbaud, Antonin Artaud, Aimé Césaire, and Édouard Glissant. . . . [His] poems take aim at a wide variety of targets: King Hassan II, the French, pan-Arabism, colonialism, exile, prejudice, and more. Above all, though, his target is the French language itself, which he wields with exhilarating force and dexterity in order to decolonize it, using it to describe without prejudice the land and people of which he is a part."
"Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine’s poems speak from 1969 to the present with urgency, through an explosively anachronistic act of translation by Conor Bracken. As Khaïr-Eddine writes in “Black Nausea,” the poems “offer to the future this weird / fruit / which speaks in the mouths / of the thousands of innocents dead / in our black blood.” The distortive energies of Khaïr-Eddine’s “linguistic guerilla war” agitate for a politically convulsive poetry that dares to be strange, spastic and abjectly sublime. This is a return of a political surrealism when its convulsive bloom is most needed."
"No, decolonizing is not a metaphor, but it is a proposal emerging from the place where land and consciousness meet. To get closer to that place Khaïr-Eddine’s Scorpionic Sun resists any nation state—or any reader—who would take up land or consciousness, song or bodies as mere instruments. Wisely, then, Conor Bracken’s translation doesn’t so much use as it delivers English into the brutal ongoingness of what Teresa Villa-Ignacio has called Khaïr-Eddine’s 'seismic line.' Thus thoroughly shaken and gone we can find one another 'by a necessary association with events to come.'"