“Meaning and shadow … in literature, art and knowledge” by Jamal Haidar
Uncover the hidden secrets of culture between the lines
My colleague, author Jamal Haider, who has lived in London for many years, gave me his book entitled: “Meaning and Shadow .. in Literature, Arts and Knowledge” issued by the “Arcades for Studies, Translation and Publishing” Foundation in Cairo …
The book contains four axes, which came under the following titles: “Texts, Knowledge, Reading and Vision.” causes an important turning point or a wide global resonance.
In the introduction to his book, the author writes: “The material of this book can be considered as a record of cultural events observed by a number of cities and capitals over a period of time as clear interruptions in the conditions of culture, most of which published in the Arab press within their cultural files, and was selected from a large archive, which I collected during a career path of The adventure of writing.
In the first axis, “texts”, the following titles are distributed: “Last summer .. My first book,” “Open the gates of my labyrinth,” “Hold on to the moment, Naji .. Do not leave us . , “” Hussain’s Flowers … A Translucent Iraqi Pain, “and in the” Knowledge “axis The following titles are distributed:” A poet’s confession. “” A quick look at English culture. “” Culture first .. Culture last. “And the American” home “generation.
And in the third axis, “Read,” come the following titles: “How Did (Satanic Verses) Enter Our Lives?” “Jean Genet .. the Outcast Lover,” “Les Miserables .. A Novel on the Poor Run by the Empire,” “John Berger .. Awareness Intelligence.” Nikos Kazantzakis, the uncompromising creator.
As for the fourth and final axis, it came under the title “Vision”, and bore a number of titles, including: “The Monument of Freedom … Awakened the Events of Iraq from its Slumber”, “Picasso .. Guernica Through Life “.
The book opens under the title: “The Last Summer .. My First Book” Haidar writes: “The book (One Thousand and One Nights) was the beginning of my way of reading, in the house of my aunt, whom I married wash. a man from the city of Kirkuk, who has a Turkmen majority, has stripped a book of the first and last pages, and color predominates yellow on its remaining pages. The book stole me from the world of meager readings, gave me a magical ability to imagine in a big and totally crowded house, and in me formed the first values about good and evil, love and hate, beauty and ugliness. “
In the same vein, under the title “Hold on to the moment, Naji..don’t leave us,” the author describes the unhappy ending of the Palestinian cartoonist, Naji Al-Ali: “A few hours after noon he drank his last cup, adorned with an olive branch, counted his steps, one..two, to all possibilities.And when the bullet sounded, Naji fell, but he awoke quickly from his slumber, and the expanse of eternity pondering, standing in front of the shop windows for a long time, he lowered his eyelids to regain his sight.Seconds that could hardly count the memory left behind a tragedy that struck letters, shapes, colors, friends and dreams.
Under the title “Hussain’s Flowers .. A Translucent Iraqi Pain”, Jamal Haidar writes: “How many decades has the absence of the singer gone left a crying moon in a sad Iraqi night. Its extent has been recorded to its extent. It has disappeared after the poems of love and misery have been laid in our hearts. absence covered.Hussain Maria Callas’ flowers Iraqis, or their turquoise, their tears drop in The cans, when their voice healed their wounds, and told their story, shed tears as if touching those stories … Their story for the first The Iraqis gathered the flowers when the misty things separated them … And what’s more, they gathered their pains and engraved them on the sidewalks of guard. She wept as if she saw their near end, The end that remained silent in the coffin. ”
In the second axis, “Knowledge” and under the title “A Poet’s Confession”, Haidar monitored the journey and experience of the Greek poet Yiannis Ritsos (1909-1990), with whom he had a close relationship, and bundles of his complete work. On this matter, Haidar wrote: “Yannis Ritsos is the most brilliant contemporary Greek poet. Poetry has been a daily act of life for him. Therefore, it is not surprising that he was one of the most prolific poets of the last century, writing and expand its scope, to include the neglected daily details on which he built his vast poetic space. ”
In the same vein, the author gives us a quick overview of English culture: novel and poetry “The English novel is considered the best historically in world literature, as English literature is considered one of the oldest and best types of literature in the West. In the field of poetry, there are features that distinguish British poetry, especially the realistic tendency in its various stages, in which interest in the absolute of man, his sensory world, his tangible nature, his place and the conditions of his existence. in this world, from the specific to The general, and not the other way around, as in philosophy, which is another characteristic that distinguishes it from modern French poetry, which is generally more concerned with the spiritual and the abstract than with the sensual and the tangible, begin with the Bernese poets until now.
Under the title “Culture First, Culture Finally”, he emphasized the role of Iraqi culture and intellectuals in the fight against dictatorship: “I have not found the best definition of culture, except that it is all that remains. Intellectuals have on one contributed in some other way., to his ripening by their products and the blood of their hearts to expose the policy of an oppressive regime that put his index finger on the trigger to liquidate all his opponents, when it was strong and had Arab and international support funds before it was bound by economic sanctions. ”
Gamal Haidar sheds light on a topic entitled The American “Home” generation on contemporary literature and the American generation of the sixties, as he writes: “The history of contemporary literature did not know a controversial generation like the sixties American generation, the hippie or thinking and perception, which resulted in Western modernity, and centered within This generation, in particular, the “Home” movement, which imposed its elements of renewal on American cultural space, through a different way of thinking at the level of culture , art, thought, and literature, are causing a new wave of political and social awareness among large segments of Americans, especially the youth, as it has ignited the “Home” generation.Fire in the minds of many through the feasibility of culture in expression by questioning poetry, and others. literary genres. House means rhythm or pulse, the term Jack Kerouac first used in 1948 in a dialogue with (John Colin Holmes) to describe a circle of his friends of poets and young writers who in the fifties of the twenties century in the United States of America, and they have been united by many ties, ranging from culture through protest, to shared intellectual visions. ”
In the third axis of the book, we review in-depth analytical readings of the novel “The Satanic Verses” by (Salman Rushdie), the British author of Indian descent, the novel “Les Miserables”, and the biography of the outcast lover, the novelist (Jean Genet), and deals with the tragedy of the poet (Sylvia Plath) And her relationship with her husband, the poet (Ted Hughes), the poetic and artistic career of the Iranian poet (Forough Farrokhzad), the other face of the English novelist (Jane Austen), and the versatile writer (John Berger), The Spirit of Consciousness, and the uncompromising creator (Nikos Kazantzakis). From this axis he chose what Jamal Haidar wrote about the great Greek writer Kazantzakis:
“On a summer trip … on a Greek island, accompanied by my friend, director Qassem Hawl, I read the novel (Report to Greco). I could not resist the novel’s charm, despite the author’s passionate emotions between the lines, I wanted to keep reading for a long time … I was afraid that the novel would announce its end and that I would miss those souls and cries that the author left after waking up her memory and her inhalation.Kazantzakis’ writings crystallized my taste and led me to a feeling of mysticism and deep penetration into the interior of man and his being, and in me strengthened the spirit of challenge .. the powers of darkness and exploitation from “After they gave me the true meaning of this, the challenge flared up my spiritual upliftment.”
Haider adds in another section in the same article:
“I got to know Kazantzakis through the Arabic translations of his novels: Zorba, Christ Crucified Again, The Last Temptation of Christ, Brothers Enemies. biography Kazantzakis represents a clear phenomenon in the history of Greek literature, The ancient and contemporary, which explains the secret of his popularity in the regions of the earth, and the great interest in his works to the present, and it crosses the borders of the Greek language and its narrow location. ”
As for the fourth and final axis of the book “The Meaning and the Shadow”, it came under the title: “Vision” and bore a number of titles, including: “The Monument of Freedom … Awakening the Events of Iraq from They slumber, ”“ Picasso … Guernica throughout the neighborhood. ” In the text of The Freedom Monument, Jamal Haidar wrote: “Two prominent epics on the road to Iraq: the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Freedom Monument to Jawad Selim, a monument that fills the place and the heart, restored after the decade of the sixties its splendor and lifts it from the rubble of years .. that hidden longing for liberation.It is the most important decisive work.As far as the artist’s productions, and the most radiant focus in his short artistic life, the monument tells the story of man’s march to freedom and his relationship with nature, using ancient Sumerian sculpture with modern touches.
The book and its carefully selected articles deserve to be read, reflected on and researched, to reveal its hidden secrets between the lines, to win the full and ripe fruit, which delights the insatiable reader with everything new and useful.
Abdul Salam Al Zughaibi
– Also read: Jamal Haidar in his novel “Candles on the Sidewalks of Karrada”