“Zanqat bin Barka”
20- year old novel wins.
Some cultural news is no more a secret. I mean the news concerned with the Iraqi winning literary works selected by a special committee here as the best for last year. In the field of novel, Mahmoud Saeed’s “Zanqat bin Barka” won, but the results are not announced yet.
The 308-page novel is published in Amman, Jordan by Dar al-Karmal for Publishing and Distribution. It took more than 20 year before the author could publish it. “This delay of publishing indicates the unique covetousness of the author on the hand and the miserable cultural situation of the Arab world on the other,” according to Ali al-Shouk, Iraqi writer who lives abroad.
That delay, anyhow. Did not affect the freshness of the novel, and maybe this is the secret of its success, said Al-Shouk.
Anyway, the author’s keenness is justified as he wants to present a perfect work, and he made it, Al-Shouk believes.
The novel, purely realistic. Deals with jealousy: if one wants to put it as simple al that. And deals with inner, social and political conflicts, if one wants to put it as complex as that.
The events take place in main cities of Morocco. So. The Moroccan society. Its spirit and features, is present clearly in the novel.
Inspired by his experience living a time in Morocco. The author doesn’t believe in non-realistic literary works.
The characters “not few” reflect various policy, sex, money, and other details.
I think that the success of the novel is made through achieving a kind of harmony between the characters and their actions and reactions.
The reader will see that the “do” really suits the ‘doer” in another word the characters are well drawn.
Dr Ali Jawad al- Tahir, Iraqi established critic, wrote an essay about the novel in “Al- Aqlam” literary magazine. He praised it saying that this outstanding spontaneous novel makes you feel that you are reading something in which lies the artistic secret of a literary genre.
The dialogue.says Al-tahir pours out naturally and varies so as to suit the different natures of the characters.
He added that the novel is so rich that you can describe it, as you want: social or political or psychological. It is social as it presents an image of a certain society. It is political as it criticizes political practices and takes the side of sincere reformers.
And it is psychological as it provokes inner emotions and fear. Throughout his essay, Dr Al-Tahir summarizes the novel suggesting that a second reading of it would show more merits. Secrets, and good planning.
Meanwhile, Razaq Ibrahim Hassan, writer, pointed out that “Zanqat bin Barka” is so vivid that the reader cannot leave it aside.