Articles Archive for July 2012
Many have criticized the “hasty” Arabic literature that has emerged in the last 16 months, blossoming in both bookstores and online during the ongoing Arab revolutions… And yet there is something about the intersection of literature and real life that compels readers to keep searching for books that resonate with, and expand beautifully on, the current moment — without cheapening either the literature or the moment.
Syrian novelist and TV host Samar Yazbek’s “A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution” is one of these rare books.
-Some analysts see a growing influence of fundamentalists in the revolution. Even radical Islamists can fight in Syria.
‘No one can speak of Islamist influence. There is a movement of the whole people which covers all currents and is trying to organize itself to continue the struggle… Syrians have already made the decision to continue the revolution, which began pacifically, but in response tp the barbarism of the regime some groups has taken weapons. Most go on the streets unarmed. Therein lies the secret of the Syrian revolution, in the value of its people.
You often mention in the diary how blurry the frontiers between reality and fiction are; how reality often looks like a screenplay, a ferocious fiction. Would you say that this type of political environment makes fiction irrelevant?
The political environment didn’t necessarily make fiction irrelevant. What I was trying to say is that the horror I saw surpassed any kind of fiction imaginable.
Jabbour Douaihy’s novels remain, for the non Lebanese readers, works of pure fiction; minute jewelry made by the imagination of a man of talent ranging between modesty and compassion, the most refined sarcasm and bitterness the most painful and understandable. Douaihy tells the story of his Lebanon, and does not submit her to judgments, nor to philosophy or psychoanalysis. The reader rooms around, or rather, he roams jubilant in Douaihy’s imaginary multi-facetted world, with all its contradictions and conflicts, which, as a mosaic, does not reveal its beauty unless it is viewed from a distance. This is the meaning of the virtual camera Douaihy’s look…