I have insufficient knowledge of the history of Lebanon or the Palestinians, only what might be gleaned from a sceptical ingestion of western media. With the difficulties of translation and my ignorance much of the symbolism in Mahmoud Darwish’s Memory For Forgetfulness was probably lost during my two back-to-back readings. This didn’t detract in any way from the potency of this extraordinary book, which elicited not only an intellectual reaction but also a visceral one. Beyond that, I am unable (unwilling?) to write with any cogency (in the immediacy of finishing the book). I urge you to read the extended excerpt, and the book, which enters that small number of ice-axes that make up my personal canon.