The latest Words Without Borders is out: Writing from the Silk Road, featuring fiction, poetry and non-fiction from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Xinjiang, China. Half of the work was actually written in Russian while the other three pieces were translated from Uzbek, Georgian and Uyghur.
Exiled Uzbek writer Hamid Ismailov, who has a poem here, has appeared in English before. His novel The Railway was published in an English translation by Robert Chandler in 2007.
Uyghur poet Exmetjan Osman’s work has also appeared online in translation before by Joshua Freeman, who translated his poem for WWB and wrote a fascinating introduction describing the modernist school of poetry Osman founded – the “gungga (‘hazy’) movement in Uyghur poetry” and how he left Xinjiang to study in Damascus in the 80s. (Introduction and poems can be found here).
Photo – Politicians in an Opium Shop, Tashkent, by Vasily Vereshchagin, 1870 (proof that being a politician might once have been much more fun than it is today – or, on the other hand, that it was just as dreadful and that politicians knew how to dull the pain and didn’t need to worry about being hounded by reporters and their cameras).