Podcast: Space, Fiction and Growing Up in ‘Postwar’ Lebanon (with Naji Bakhti)

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Patreon supporters got early access to this episode.

This is a conversation with Naji Bakhti, author of the novel Between Beirut and the Moon (2020), published by Influx Press. He is also Project Manager at SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom at the Samir Kassir Foundation. This is episode 84 of The Fire These Times.

Topics Discussed:

  • Growing up in a ‘postwar’ context, Lebanon
  • Writing in English and the distance afforded to us when doing so
  • Thinking about Arabic and creativity
  • Genesis of Between Beirut and the Moon
  • Writing the local, writing the global
  • The Arab world and the impossibility of Space exploration
  • Billionaires are ruining space in addition to planet Earth
  • Joking about sectarianism in Lebanon (and also Balkans, Iraq etc)
  • West Beirut (1998 film) and its impact, watching it (in Joey’s case) the day Hariri was assassinated in 2005
  • Writing about Beirut as a character
  • How do we think about fiction when reality is so overwhelming?
  • Inheriting the silences from one’s parents (including postmemory)
  • Friendships versus sectarian politics

Recommended Books

  • Guapa by Saleem Haddad
  • De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage
  • Persepolis by Marjie Satrapi
  • Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

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Music by Tarabeat.

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