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March 23, 2011

Metropolitan To Publish Magdy El Shafee’s Metro In English

I thought this brief story was worth pulling out of this week's "Bundled" column because an English translation of Egyptian cartoonist Magdy El Shaffee's crime story Metro has news interest outside of its arrival in the English language as a publishing event. Metro was banned and its creator and publisher convicted three years ago of making art that disturbed the public morals, which isn't an uncommon tack for government officials to take against art even when it's hard to define or find these apparent disruptions. El Shaffee has appealed to a new ministry of culture in his rapidly-changing country so that there might eventually be another Egyptian edition. As pointed out earlier during the political crisis in that country, Metro was an interesting piece of art because its crime plot was instigated and shaped by the same kind of deep distrust of and frustration with society that many of the political reformers say they felt. Its Italian edition received special attention during the last days of Hosni Mubarak's rule. Metropolitan snapped up the book.
posted 6:20 am PST | Permalink

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