The flight into Egypt.
Kilito is engrossed by questions about writing and translation, about stories and their migrations through different cultures; literature is freight, and needs to be transported to find readers. He refers to himself as a raawii, a ‘transmitter.’ Writers who come after others and carry on their works are rawaat, moving between eras and places. Raawii also means something like a ‘rhapsode,’ the Greek term for a writer who performs in public and calls attention to another’s words and deeds.
|—||Marina Warner, “Story-Bearers,” a review of Abdelfattah Kilito’s Je parle toutes les langues, mais en Arabe, Acte Sud, 2013, London Review of Books, page 19.|
According to the poets in former times, the ode is a stray she-camel: you don’t know where she’ll end up. Lost in the immensity of the desert, she wanders looking for her nearest and dearest, animal and human. But it’s not certain that she’ll find them again. One day or other, the orphan will be taken in by persons unknown, who’ll adopt her and she’ll spend the rest of her days among them. Unless she wanders off again.
|—||Kilito, quoted by Warner, LRB, 17 April 2014, page 19.|