Monday, August 18, 2008

How we commemorate the dead

"It happened with Naguib Mahfouz too, Egyptian Nobel prize winner. He was celebrated after his death much more than during his lifetime," says Egyptian film-maker Hala Galal of the Egyptian media's crazy lovin' of Youssef Chahine's films... now that he's dead.

Meanwhile, Darwish's funeral was packed, but so were all his readings and events. In Darwish's case, the people backed him and his work.

I'm fascinated with the different ways the two cultures which share a border are commemorating their greatest artists. In Egypt, the tyrranical government is paying tribute to someone who hated it. In Palestine, the people themselves are pouring out, albeit with the PA's approval.


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