Profile: The ‘oriental Surrealist’, Poet Edmond Jabès



Sat, 26 Aug 2017 - 04:47 GMT


Sat, 26 Aug 2017 - 04:47 GMT

Courtesy of Poetry Foundation

Courtesy of Poetry Foundation

CAIRO – 26 August 2017: Egyptian/ French poet Edmond Jabès resonates in the Egyptian poetry scenes despite being threatened of deportation. Egypt Today sheds light on one of the iconic Egyptian poets.

Jabès is an Egyptian/French poet. He was born in 1912 in Cairo, Egypt. His family was one of the Jewish Bourgeois families.

He pursued his education in French Schools, and in 1929 he travelled to Paris to continue his higher education.

Being against Fascism and Nazism, writing a number of articles against Mussolini before his travel to France, led him to be well known in France.

He has been honored by the French Government in 1952 and in 1956 he was forced to flee Egypt after Suez crisis. Hatred against the Jews was raised after the Suez Crisis.
Refusing to go to Israel, Jabès believed that Israel is not a real home or a real land. He only visited Israel once to lecture about Modern Poetry.

While he resided in Paris, Jabès was influenced a lot with the Surrealism school in France. His poetry is known for its strangeness and fragmenting. He was labeled “The oriental Surrealist”.

He always lived as non-belonged to any place or anywhere after leaving Egypt.
Jabès focused on Writing about Egypt, exile, God, human, and Jewish mythology.

Most known with ‘The Book of Questions’, ‘The Book of Margins’ in 1993 and ‘If there were anywhere but Desert’. In 1987, he received France’s Grand Prix for Poetry.
Jabes died in France in 1999. The legendary poet’s writings were translated from French into English by Rosemarie Waldrop.



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