Irony is back on the the literary agenda, resulting in a great deal of controversy. Meanwhile, a new generation of writers seems to be emerging worldwide, looking for new ways to relate to irony and the political power of expression that messages seem to lose with the use of this stylistic device. This is well-illustrated by the first line of the Vrije encyclopedie (Free Encyclopedia) by the recently debuting poet Maarten van der Graaff: ‘Let me tell you who I am and then / we can finally move on.’
This desire to move on also seems to be essential and obvious in the body of work of the young Egyptian poet Malaka Badr. In her poem ‘Death Leans on its Rifle Eating Crackers’, she writes about her experiences in the uprising on Tahrir Square: ‘We have learned / only to rise / for the funeral procession of a friend.’
Malaka Badr and Maarten van der Graaff will discuss the role of irony in their body of work and the differences between writing in the Netherlands and Egypt, where life these days is turbulent.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
6 – 7 PM