PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
The PN Review Prize 2017 - Now Open!
Most Read... Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Daniel Kaneon Ted Berrigan
(PN Review 169)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Meet Michael Edwards at the Brasserie Lipp David Herman reads Milosz's life Sumita Chakraborty's five poems Judith Wilson's encounter with Giovanni Pascoli Simon Armitage revives Branwell Bronte

This review is taken from PN Review 30, Volume 9 Number 4, March - April 1983.

NEW PERSPECTIVES Ghazi A. Algosaibi, Arabian Essays (Kegan Paul International) £9.50

Dr Algosaibi dedicates his book to 'those who disagree'. I cannot count myself as one of those, partly because I do not know enough about the Arab point of view from which it is written, either to agree or to disagree; and partly because of the nature of the essays many of which are, as the author says, 'provocative and polemical'. One should not allow oneself to be provoked too often, especially by one who, on his own confession, is 'unable to resist an invitation to talk about anything'. Most of these pieces are talks which have been given to Saudi audiences.

The interest of the book, from our insular point of view, is that it brings us news of the kind we ought to get more of through our own media, which are overwhelmingly concerned with the crude excitements which seem to be about all that penetrates the skull of the average journalist. Dr Algosaibi is 'a poet, minor academic and major bureaucrat'-the Saudi Minister of Industry and Electricity, no less, and it is of interest to know what such a man could be like. Not knowing any Arabic-though Dr Algosaibi has, I should report, published in Arabic and English-I have no idea what importance to attach to his publisher's claim that he is 'a well known Arabic poet'-a phrase which could mean as little as is generally the case with comparable claims made in the western world. Being a minister, however, is something definite, and ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image