IN THE LIGHT AND THE DARKNESS OF THE SELF AND OF THE OTHER
$15.00 • 80 pp. • 1997
There is a prose poem which becomes a long and poignant interrogation. Etel Adnan is asking whether or not there is an other out there, or if it is all a matter of being alone in the world. To what a degree can we know the other and what exactly do we know? Thereinvestigates also the idea of conflict, between individuals or countries. Are we doomed to have conflicts as soon as we are two? A conversation, she says “is the beginning of civilization.” I woke up this morning realizing that Etel has presented us with “A Geology of the Spirit.”
There is a poem of hidden seams, fissures that we cross unsuspecting. A smooth surface conceals a universe of sudden shifts and transitions from one level to another—a philosophical level which pursues the mysteries of consciousness and place, a second level which asks the same questions (“do I have to have a nationality in order to be human?”) in a committed social and political vision, a passionate and engaged post-modernism.
—Michael Beard, Univ. of North Dakota
Etel Adnan is an Arab-American poet and writer born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. She studied at the Sorbonne in France, U.C. Berkeley, and Harvard and taught Philosophy at Dominican College in San Rafael, California. She is the author of more than fifteen books of poetry, essays, and cultural writings. She is a recipient of a 2010 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Award. She divides her time between Sausalito, California; Paris; and Beirut.