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October 19, 2012

An Arab Melancholia

October is LGBT History Month. Last Friday, we posted an excerpt from Douglas Crimp’s Our Kind of Movie”: The Films of Andy Warhol. Today’s post is an excerpt from Abdellah Taia’s An Arab Melancholia (Semiotext(e)).

There weren't only words in the envelope. Alongside yellowed pages that had been yanked out of another diary, I found four other things. A scrap of paper with the Algerian's phone number on it. A piece of Délice black currant candy. A hotel bill. Two movie tickets for Claire Denis' film Beau Travail. Souvenirs? No, more like pieces of evidence. Proof that I really did meet that man. I was 27. He was 36. Nobody in Paris knew I existed back then. But he did. He was God. Right from the start. He was dancing. I joined him. I danced. He loved me. I loved him. For a year and a half, he was my world, my self, my destiny. He was it. Him. Slimane. The guy from southern Algeria, the one with the light skin. The married man who had just left his wife. The father of four girls. Foundry worker. Sculptor. A man with the soul of a poet. An Arab. More of an Arab than me.

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