The Stories We Tell: An Interview with Simone Fattal
By Ruba Al-Sweel
As a professional storyteller, there is perhaps no better history for Simone Fattal to divulge than her turbulent, inspiring own. After enduring a riotous and fraught youth in Beirut, the Damascus-born artist studied philosophy at the Ecole des Lettres before moving to Paris to attend the Sorbonne. But Fattal soon grew tired of the Western canon’s confines, returning to Beirut in 1969 and abandoning her prior philosophical pursuits in favor of creation. She started working as a visual artist (initially focused on painting) and before long was exhibiting in local galleries. In 1975 the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War halted her success, and five years later she fled to California and founded The Post-Apollo Press, an experimental publishing house responsible for publishing her late partner Etel Adnan’s poetry, among other innovative works.