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  • (Out of Stock) Savage Charm

(Out of Stock) Savage Charm

Ahmed Elbeshlawy

English , 2019/11 Proverse Hong Kong

Tags: Poetry

210 x 145 x 9 mm , 136pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-988-8491-67-4

  • US$22.00

Out Of Stock

SAVAGE CHARM is autobiographical at its core, yet unsentimental, unapologetic, and rigorous in its exploration of related concepts such as self-knowledge, fictional identity, the city, the writing of exile, belief, religion, and the modern subject. The poet brings his distinctive voice to cosmopolitan Hong Kong’s English poetic scene with this volume which records his personal experience of the city in the subtlest of ways. Though highly personal, the poems have a gutsy impersonal touch and a distinctive social tinge. Savage charm: a first poetry collection is beautifully poetic and deeply philosophical at the same time.


“What emerges in this collection is that poetry cannot be one thing; there is an astonishing play of rhythms, rhymes, and half-rhymes, different metres and half-metres, different lengths of poem, and different forms, so that anyone coming to them will be impressed by writing which does not settle down into one thing, but which ranges and experiments, its English, punning and playful, being neither conventionally poetic, nor allowing the reader to relax: everything here demands the sharpest attention.”

—Jeremy Tambling, Professor of English, Warsaw University of Social Sciences and Humanities

“In his poetic debut, Savage Charm, Elbeshlawy takes us on an exotic trajectory into his own idiosyncratic world. This collection is a collage of the personal intertwined with the impersonal, reality with fantasy and philosophy with eroticism. Almost every poem has something intriguing that provokes the reader’s thoughts and mindsets.”

—Sayed Gouda, PhD, Poet, novelist, translator, editor.

“Ahmed Elbeshlawy’s work is at its most interesting when he concentrates his acute mental lens on his immediate Hong Kong surroundings More, for all of his erudite references to Žižek and Lacan, this poet is essentially a Romantic; his idiosyncratic tropes and topoi entrenched deep in this tradition. “Savage Charm”, then, is especially apposite as a title for this collection..”

—Vaughan Rapatahana, PhD, Poet, literary critic, essayist and novelist, winner of the inaugural Proverse Poetry Prize.

AHMED ELBESHLAWY is a scholar of comparative literature. He is author of Twenty Five Meditations on Writing and Subjectivity (2019), Woman in Lars von Trier’s Cinema (2016), America in Literature and Film (2011), and various articles and book chapters in The Palgrave Handbook of Literature and the City (2016), Sexuality and Culture (2014), The Comparatist (2008), Scope (2008), and fe/male bodies (2005, 2006).

Having come to Hong Kong in 1995 with a background in English Studies, he has become used to thinking comparatively across disciplines, literatures, and cultures. He is interested in all aspects of English literature and literary and cultural theories. He started writing English poems more or less secretly at the age of 15 in Egypt, but never read them – not even to his closest acquaintances – until the age of forty in Hong Kong. He always thought – still thinks – that poetry is a “dangerous domain” and that “academic writing is much safer”. Writing poetry, to him, is the “ultimate surrender of the self to the other”.

Elbeshlawy works at the Consulate-General of the United Arab Emirates in Hong Kong. He teaches occasionally at HKU SPACE where his courses cover a range of topics from Greek, Renaissance, modernist and contemporary literature to critical film and art analysis.

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