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Tablets: secrets of the clay by Dunya Mikhail PRE-ORDER

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Published 26th September 2024. Available for pre-order.

Tablets: Secrets of the Clay transforms the world’s first letter symbols, cut onto clay tablets, into matters of our modern everyday life. The poems are accompanied by drawings inspired by the ancient Sumerian images. These short poems, which can be read as Iraqi haiku, invoke an urgent wisdom beyond their original borders. In her author’s note, Dunya Mikhail writes: ‘At this moment, I am writing to you using tablets such as the computer or iPad or phone. If I were living in the time before writing, I would express my thoughts to you using clay tablets. I would draw my ideas the way my Sumerian ancestors used to do thousands of years ago. In fact, that’s exactly what I tried to do in this book. I imagined myself living in that time with no language, and yet had to express my poems through drawing. Not knowing how to draw was good for me because these drawings are supposed to be primitive and thus in harmony with the spirit of those simple signs in their first communication with the world. After all, those ancestors of mine were not all of them artists. I like to think that they were ordinary people who revealed themselves through symbols they inscribed on caves and clay tablets. I am fascinated by those codes because they were poetical, although unintentionally so.’

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