Thursday, August 12, 2010

No Othello in Tangiers

I should clarify that there has been a funny linguistic misunderstanding. Back in June, while I was in Morocco, I misread "Hotel Tanja" as "Otayl Tanja," i.e., Othello -- which is easy to do, because the two are spelled identically, and because I had forgotten that Moroccans use the French word hotel instead of the classical Arabic word funduq. I was further misled by one of the plays in the volume being called Zanqat Shaksbir -- Shakespeare Street. Which turns out to be about a real street in Tangiers, with a plot very vaguely reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet but too far to be considered a Shakespeare adaptation. My friend Khalid Amine, head of the International Center for Performance Studies in Tangier set me straight. Consider it a lesson in di- or tri-glossia.