Tanjil Rashid: In Time’s Late Hour

Al-Ma’ari’s Saqt Al-Zand (or “The Tinder Spark”, Syria, AD 1300. Source: sothebys.com

I am often susceptible to feelings of belatedness. “Is literary greatness still possible?” Susan Sontag asked around the turn of the millennium, and twenty years on, I’m not sure we have had an answer. Is it finally, as Cyril Connolly put it, “closing time in the gardens of the West”? I have always preferred the gardens of the East, but they may not be faring any better.

I am fully aware that this sentiment has been known to reactionaries for thousands of years, and quite often they’ve been wildly wrong. With me it is not by any means a political stance, and probably just a hyperbolic way of appreciating works of art and literature from a time before my own. The feeling is usually prompted by an encounter with a marvellous line composed in some distant time by an ancient poet or sage.

Continue Reading

Hamid Ouyachi: Prostatic Anxieties (A Fragment)

Francis Bacon, ‘Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion’, 1944. Photo: Tate. Source: barnebys.com

Early Morning

Through the shutters, light seeped in bleary and grey, veining the darkness in the room. Early morning wormed into his consciousness with the arrhythmic thud of the daily paper, landing on the doorsteps of the neighboring houses, soft and distant at first, then more resonant as it drew nearer, before receding into the softness of distance again.

Continue Reading

No more posts.