Kilito studied French literature and spoke French to his students. But he refused to contribute to studies on Western literature, then regretted that the aim was to give an Arabic touch to those studies. Ibrahim Mashara on “An Atmosphere of Intellectual Regret”.
On the publications of the Mediterranean in Milan In 2020, Abdel Fattah Kilito’s book, “In an Atmosphere of Intellectual Regret”, was published in 78 pages and no more.
A biography of the writing journey and its labyrinths In this critic and creator who did not want to go on and on to the point of boredom and boredom, the habit of some writers to glorify and glorify the ego in order to satisfy a narcissistic tendency that never tires of his intellectual heroism don’t speak and obsessing over all the details that matter and don’t matter.
In a spirit of objectivity and humility of knowledge The critic began his first articles with this statement by Gaston Bachelard (If we are freed from past errors, we will encounter the truth in an atmosphere of intellectual repentance, and in fact we know against previous knowledge and through poorly constructed knowledge to connect and overcome what in thinking itself hinders the thinking process).
Exciting titles for the chapters of the book in which the ego disappears in the labyrinths of writing and the books that shaped the mind and conscience of the writer in the East and the West, as if writing forgets what we have read and what we have learned to merging it all into the self, so it reproduces and formulates it.
It is said that the poet Abu Nawas came to Khalaf al-Ahmar to recite to him a poem he had composed, but Khalaf al-Ahmar advised him to write a thousand poetic stanzas between an argoza and a memorizing poetic syllable. , authorized him to process poetry. Before this, one of the poetry narrators pointed out to Al-Farazdaq the boy that his poetry would not be correct unless he memorized the Qur’an.
So he tied himself to a mast until he memorized it, and so the Qur’an melted with its wording, purpose and meaning in the poet’s conscience and mind, and turned into a pure creative process with Al-Farazdaq and near that which was narrated from Jarir that he said when he heard the poem of Omar bin Abi Rabi’ah (Amen Al Yes, you left early) this Qurashi is still Delirium even said poetry! That is to say, he was in a stage of formation, and the poetic queen had not yet settled for him until he had melted in his mind and conscience a great deal of the old poetry, so it had the juice of creativity in it. formed him, that is, forget what he learned and what he memorized.
Interesting titles for this Kilito book as it tells his journey of reading and writing, that journey that came in a few pages but is focused and intense and refers to many texts and writings in the East and West such as The Art of Error, about the margin of vision, the blind, the point of separation, just a letter, that’s why we read classic literature ..and other things, the author writes that he loved reading from childhood, according to the habit of writers in their early years. It is these young readings that put the author on the path of contemplation, digestion and forgetting again. This is how he got to know Al-Manfaluti, Taha Hussein, Tawfiq Al-Hakim, Gustave Flaubert, Montaigne and others . Then he specialized in French literature and presented a thesis on Al-Hamadhani and Al-Hariri, he inherited from them, Al-Jahiz and Montaigne a love of deviation and exposed the game itself.
His writings are nothing but digressions following the pioneers of the maqam, like the game that Al-Jahiz exposed before the reader when he said that his compositions are nothing but digressions and a narration (write by jumping or to jump… My books consist of separate chapters, these are deviations, councils, or, if we prefer, maqamat, in all senses of the word).
A book about literature and skepticism
In his other book on literature and skepticism, the reader realizes the feeling of anxiety about writing, and in and around writing. He quotes the old saying: “A person is still in his stride as long as he does not say poetry or write a book .” This is the regret Kilito is talking about. This is not regret in the moral sense, but cognitive regret. To which Gaston Bachelard referred in his aforementioned saying, as if wrong is the rule and right the exception.
And from the old books of Al-Asqalani and he was a contemporary of Imad Al-Din Al-Isfahani, to whom the saying is wrongly attributed, as Abdul Malik Murtad confirms: If it had been left, it would have been more beautiful, and this is one of the greatest lessons, and it is proof that scarcity has taken over all mankind.
This repeated error in writing and this cognitive regret is what prompted Zuhair bin Abi Salma to wait with the recitation of his poetry and allow his narration. By mistake and turned away from him to what he believes to be the best, most useful and most correct, that is, the least repentant.
The book must be cautious and cautious, as Al-Jahiz recommends (whoever writes a book should not write it except that all men are enemies of it), and he does not mean only the craftsmen, but the disguised enmity of the reader . His writings are nothing but digressions, novels and quotations, and Kilito did not deviate from them, that is why he wrote that his writings are like councils and sanctuaries, and Mahmoud Darwish also did not deviate from it when he said: It is ‘ an extension of all poets and that poetry is a transparent tooth.
Abd al-Salam Bin Abd al-Aali says (the basic dispossession from which Abd al-Fattah Kilito proceeds in his last book in an atmosphere of intellectual repentance is that a person seeks what is within his reach, primary knowledge is not first knowledge is not , the first is found at the end of a road and intuition is not a first given but is at the end Analysis, it is no wonder that Kafka’s phrase is repeated in the book, which Kilito so much cherish that he set it as the title of one of his books: What we seek is near us).
The Belgian novelist Georges Simnon talked about the key in one of his stories. The police chief, whenever they entered his apartment, lost his key in his pocket, but the woman would take the initiative to open the door. What we are looking for. is with us or near us, as Kafka says, and in a significant story by Borges, Kilito made her Special in a chapter.
Writing is nothing but a series of intellectual regrets—as if disease were the origin and well-being the exception
Borges was a fan of Arabic literature and learned Arabic at the end of his life, but unfortunately fate did not allow him to read it, as he died. In the story “The Research of Ibn Rushd”, this philosopher is engaged in the search for the meaning of the words tragodia and qumodia, although Ibn Rushd was familiar with Greek philosophy and Aristotle, but he did not know Greek literature, especially theater, didn’t know two words that are theater as a literary genre?
Ironically, children played the role of worshipers in a childish game next to the philosopher’s house. Here the knowledge that the philosopher seeks is close to him, but it is blindness.
I have a secret that cannot be told
It is hidden from Basra during the day
This is the epistemology of a priori quoted from Başlar, not moral remorse, but cognitive remorse. Didn’t Başlar say (In thought itself, what hinders the thought process?).
Writing is nothing but a series of intellectual regrets, as he calls them, regrets about what was said and regrets about what was not said or written, as if illness were the origin and well-being the exception Flaubert, but he refrained, on the pretense that he had nothing to do with French literature. The French have their critics and scholars of their literature, and he is in vain from the other side. But at a later stage he regretted it when he learned that the purpose of the Academy’s request is to give an Arab touch to studies, and how Arab intellectuals receive this The novel and how they interact with their cultural and intellectual backgrounds . But not while they’re sorry, as they say.
To be or not to be, that was the challenge that Kilito had to face and prove himself in the world of writing. For many years he studied French literature and used French to speak to his students, and he was the one who refused . to contribute to a study on Gusaf Flaubert, think that he has nothing new, because his true place is in Arabic literature, but this did not prevent strange contradictions and paradoxes. For example, he was busy with the lecture papers he prepared for his students, and it was customary for academic professors to keep them, but Kilito’s insistence on tearing them up in a kind of negation or repudiation and purification signifies the firm belief that he has nothing to add to French literature and oh Paradoxically, when he published his book “The Absent” in Arabic in 1987, with the thought that Arab academics in the West would praise the author and his author as he directly in wrote Arabic, but the paradox is that they admitted that they were not reading in Arabic, but rather reading about Arabic and its texts in other languages.
It is confirmed by a Western translator of Kilito, that Arab poets and novelists send her their products, so that she can be generous to them with a translation, as if their fate were in her hands (since then the subject of language dominates my thinking I did not stop asking. He is facing a crazy difficult bet not to write like the Europeans and at the same time to differ from the Arab writers whose works I have seen).
What intellectuals in the West keep asking the author, why did he write in French? This is a question that is often asked of the Algerian novelist in French, Mohamed Dib, as the others want to reassure him of his refusal to write in his language (every time I took the floor in front of the audience, I confronted in this way and each time by a Frenchman), as if we were standing in front of a sign on which it was written that my language will not speak.