Spring 2023 • Vol. XLV No. 2 Translation FolioApril 4, 2023 |

Guests, Ghosts, Hosts (or, Adaptation; or, Language on Being)

On Being Home If memory is to be trusted, my first complication of the term home came to me one night as I watched the evening news. Like any elementary school kid, âge inconnu, I detested the news. I threw pitiable glances at any adult who insisted on the daily sermons. I campaigned to change my parents’ minds about the need to watch “les infos” over, say, Lucky Luke or Les Schtroumpfs. “They’re blue!” I exclaimed, a succinct explanation as to why The Smurfs, that 1980s gem of a show, made for better television. My parents seemed unmoved by my pleas. This was home: Abidjan, a city where the sun set at around the same time every day, a warm apartment decked in red and green velvet. Evenings, I stretched out on the carpet, inching closer and closer to the TV set until my parents warned me to sit back or shooed my siblings and me away, demanding of us, “Go occupy yourselves.” To occupy oneself meant reading something or other; it meant honoring tranquility. But

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Photo of Clarisse Baleja Saïdi

Clarisse Baleja Saïdi is the recipient of fellowship support from MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, Art Omi, and more. In 2021, she was awarded a Canada Council of the Arts grant for a nonfiction proposal, and in 2022–23, she’ll serve as a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her recent work has appeared in Poetry magazine and The Fiddlehead.

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Dead Sea Scroll

Translated by Daniel Kraft

On Being Home If memory is to be trusted, my first complication of the term home came to me one night as I watched the evening news. Like any elementary […]

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