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an ode to joy, alfabet/alphabet by sadiqa de meijer

This is the third piece for interrobang, ?!, our arts+culture column. A film review was first, odes to joy: sanna wani second.

Context: Been a long time since I’ve written regularly in public in a way that is serious, sincere, and specific. The following blog post is part of a collection in various states of completion called odes of joy. This serves as an introduction, quasi-review to the memoir alfabet / alphabet by Sadiqa de Meijer

Consider listening to Interior of a Dutch House by the band called Beirut. I made an entire playlist while thinking about this piece actually but it isn’t at a place where I’d share it with you. Still somewhere in migration, lost/found in translation.

A short version of this goes:

This is an exquisite piece of work, this book. The length is 17.8 cm, width 11.4 cm. Double-checking the height, and I must have scribbled it down wrong. Chickenscratch. Please read it and let me know what you think, feel. What does it move in and around you? What does it leave undisturbed? I wish I could have read this book in a class surrounded by peers with questions that we get to ask (of) each other and it. All the my language teachers, every one of them would have loved this. This is a compliment.


There are 25. Here they are listed below. We use the ^ symbol to denote translation, envisioning a word needing to ascend from the valley to a summit and then back to a valley. That is the heft of the near-Sisyphean task of translation. Or so we believe. Maybe we are overthinking it?

!?list of chapters, page number, and duration for alfabet/alphabet by sadiqa de meijer

A longer version of this post is:

Yet to be written. Stay tuned or untune, go for a walk. Pretend to be a goat or a duck as it warms up. Or just lounge in the sun like a cat or go looking for treats around your neighborhood like a dog. Consider being a heist artist like a squirrel.

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