The Lebanese-American writer and artist Etel Adnan is a grande dame of Middle Eastern literature, a collector of worlds and languages. Having grown up in a Lebanon bridging Europe and the Arab world as the daughter of a Greek mother and a Syrian father, she moves easily among cultures and languages. What critics often misconstrue as ‘homelessness’ lets her, now in her 80s, view conditions in Lebanon through the eyes of a dweller in Beirut as well as through those of an outsider. Her material is drawn from the Lebanese civil war and its consequences: ‘Beirut sticks to me like hot wax, even in slumber,’ she writes in her novel ‘Of Cities and Women’…
Adnan taught philosophy at San Rafael’s Dominican College from 1958 to 1972, where, in connection with the ongoing Algerian war of independence, she began to resist the political implications of writing in French. To address this conflict, she shifted the focus of her creative expression to visual art and began making abstract oil paintings…
Etel Adnan article
Alas, I have to use this neologism of “enclosement” to deal with an issue that disturbs too few people. But it immensely disturbs those of us it concerns. Basically, this is the question: Where are the public intellectuals—the artists, poets, scientists—who allow themselves to lose sleep over the state of the world? Where are the protesters, the professors, the students? Where is public at large? My answer would be that they are nowhere to be found.
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