Monday, June 28, 2010

elias khoury writes novel 'requestioning' Bab El Shams (Gate of the Sun)

Just to clarify the statement in the June 20 posting below that Elias Khoury is currently working on a sequel to his Palestinian novel Gate of the Sun, "sequel" was used in a loose sense. This is a raw transcript of the relevant portion of his discussion with Jeremy Harding:

Jeremy Harding: Could I ask you a last question about what you’re working on at the moment – you’re doing something that’s a kind of sequel isn’t it to Gate of the Sun?... a kind of evolution of Gate of the Sun – Bab El Shams
Elias Khoury: Actually I’ve finished a novel which is nothing to do with Bab El Shams, it ‘s coming out in December I hope. So it’s finished.
And then my new project which I began working on since five years is – because you know Bab El Shams finishes with Khaleel saying “and I walk and I walk and I walk” and there is no full stop. And I insisted upon my publisher that there must not be a full stop because this is not the end of the novel. So my new novel is not a continuation, it is a requestioning of Bab El Shams itself
Jeremy Harding: a rephrasing?
Elias Khoury: No - a total requestioning of the Bab El Shams approach, and it is from the approach of the Palestinians who stayed behind, the Palestinians who stayed in Israel and their experience and then their experience mingled with the experience of the West Bank...
It’s an attempt not only to read the Palestinian daily life and everydayness – which I think is very important – and an attempt not only to read what we can call the necropolitics of occupation – there are major issues about occupation, where you can bury and you cannot bury and it is one of the major things that the Palestinians in the West Bank are facing and nobody speaks about it – but also it’s a questioning of the literature related to the question of Palestine – that is a requestioning of Ghassan Kanafani’s Men in the Sun, Emile Habibi’s Pessoptimist, and requestioning the literature of our Israeli cousins where the Palestinian character is a shadow and trying to put these elements together in the real experience of the Palestinians...

No comments: