Acclaimed Algerian author Waciny Laredj about Nasrallah’s “Second Dog War”: A work by “one of the most important Arab voices”, “reminiscent of Buzatti”

13 March 2018 50 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

nasrallahPublished by Alquds Alarabi Newspaper, March 7, 2018

Nasrallah’s experience places him among the most important contemporary Arab authors (…)

In this novel, Ibrahim (Nasrallah) partly deviates from history to engage in a new, non-historical fiction, a sort of pre-emptive history that is looming on the horizon with an unavoidable certainty, in which he recounts a present that has not yet been lived, but is inevitably coming, with its noise, blood and uprooting – throwing to the wind all clear framings. (…)

The story of The Second Dog War takes place inside a castle where everything is organized: torture, war production, and experiments with fear and death methods. A world furnished with all the means of wiretapping, from screens – where you can chastise a reporter simply by reaching out to her – to smart phones and self-driving cars. But the brilliant mastermind behind it all remains the same, his sole purpose being crime, killing any offender and roughening up any dissident; which is what happens to Rached. (…)

The castle is run by a general manager who knows everything about everything, and by officers who are no different from the public and each other, except in the sharpness of their sight, measured according to the Owl standard, ranging from Owl 3 to Owl 8. Access to Owl 8 is a dream for all. The castle is a symbolic representation of a power that grows in secret, that commits its crimes before disintegrating in a robotic world moving at an almost frantic pace. In a symbolic, hypothetical world, which is reminiscent of Italian author Dino Buzatti’s Tartar Steppe, where the daily tragedies are written in secret, and the rest of us only notice them when death comes, disregarding all our secret calculations.

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