Alex Stein talks to the Egyptian-American aphorist, poet and essayist
The tortured poets are masterfully evoked in this very fine work of biography and criticism. But these writings are more than the sum of notes on a page, they are song. The Artist as Mystic passes the test of all great writing, not only to delight, but to leave us knowing something of the subject, and ourselves, that we hadn’t considered before.
Praise for The Artist as Mystic
Few writers pay such passionate due to their literary forebears as Yahia Lababidi, and in these conversations he summons up the great seers—among them Kafka, Nietzsche, Baudelaire—with an immediacy and a vividness that make them seem his, and our, contemporaries.
John BanvilleWinner of the Man Booker Prize 2005 and the Franz Kafka Prize 2011
I have never encountered a book like The Artist as Mystic and I'm still not convinced that any modern person could be as reflective and erudite as Yahia Lababidi. But whether Lababidi is real or fictitious, the pleasures of this book are undeniable. It provides intimate insights into writers such as Nietzsche, Kafka, Kierkegaard and Rilke and offers the deepest intellectual rewards of its own.
David BezmozgisAuthor of The Free World
Yahia Lababidi has no patience for easy bows and judicious curtseys. He gives intimate brotherly address to the writers who have made him and, doing so, recovers the sense of mattering--the passion--that has always fired the deepest reading, and the writing that lasts. Much heart here, but also a shrewd experienced acuity and an irresistible grace of expression.
Sven BirkertsAuthor of The Other Walk: Essays and The Gutenberg Elegies
About Alex SteinAlex Stein is an essayist, aphorist, and illustrator whose recent books include Made-Up Interviews With Imaginary Artists (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009) and Weird Emptiness (Wings Press, 2007). He lives in Boulder, Colorado, and works at the University of Colorado’s Norlin Library.
About Yahia LababidiEgyptian-American Yahia Lababidi is an aphorist, poet, and essayist. He is the author of a new poetry collection, Fever Dreams (Crisis Chronicles Press), an essay collection, Trial by Ink: From Nietzsche to Belly Dancing, and a collection of aphorisms, Signposts to Elsewhere (Jane Street Press). Lababidi’s work has appeared in several anthologies, and been translated into Arabic, Hebrew, Slovak, German, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Turkish, and Italian.
WebsiteOnesuch Press: The Artist as Mystic: Conversations with Yahia Lababidi
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