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Memory in the Flesh (Modern Arabic Writing) [Paperback]

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Item description for Memory in the Flesh (Modern Arabic Writing) by Ahlam Mosteghanemi & Baria Ahmar Sreih...

This novel, the first to be written by an Algerian woman in Arabic, is concerned with Algeria's struggle against foreign domination as well as its post-independence struggle with itself and the fate of revolutionary ideals in a post-revolutionary society.
The story, spanning more than four decades of Algerian history, from the 1940s to the 1980s, revolves around a love affair between Khaled, the middle-aged militant who turns to painting after losing his left arm in the struggle, and the fiction writer and young daughter of his friend the freedom fighter Si Taher, all brilliantly told through Khaled's voice.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: American University in Cairo Press
Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 7.5"
Weight:   0.74 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 15, 2003
Publisher   American University in Cairo Press
ISBN  9774247345  
ISBN13  9789774247347  


Availability  0 units.


More About Ahlam Mosteghanemi & Baria Ahmar Sreih


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ahlam Mosteghanemi received her B.A. in Arabic literature from the University of Algiers in 1973, and was awarded a doctorate in sociology from the Sorbonne in 1982. She is the author of Memory in the Flesh (AUC Press, 1999), which was awarded the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature.

Ahlam Mosteghanemi was born in 1953.

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2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics
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5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
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7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
8Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory
9Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > Instruction > Instruction



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Reviews - What do customers think about Memory in the Flesh (Modern Arabic Writing)?

Masochistically and sadistically Edified?  May 31, 2005
As an Arab who really appreciates some good, profound, enriching writing, I was disappointed. I got the book shipped all the way from Lebanon in order to read it in Arabic. There is no way to get my money back. This is one horrid, long, sombre dark night of the soul piece of work in which both mosochism and saism converge. One would feel that Ahlam Mosteghanemi is an identical replica of the well-known Nizar Qabani. Nizar is good in his own context but to mimic (or rather copycat!) him in phraseology, imagery, concepts that seem only Nizar's, etc. would render Ahlam Mosteghanemi less ingenuous. The work is plagued by bitterness intertwined with sarcasm and gall over raped homelands which brings to mind typical Arab soap operas and dramas. Often she employs faith as a matter of convenience to fit in with situational needs as if it were an opium to ward off nervous breakdown instead of enhancing it as a conviction that accompanies people who are supposedly saviours of their raped homelands, "watan", a word that gets tritely overused throughout the whole theme of the novel.
(...)
 
A real delight  May 28, 2005


This book made me dizzy. I read it in English and the translator, was able to capture the soul of the Arabic text. Ahlame is very gifted; she has this sensitivity which turns simple words into music. The harsh reality, the disillusion of a country after independence which could be extrapolated to a whole Arabic nation are woven inside a love story between a national symbol and an ancient combatant. It seems that we are doomed to always have unfulfilled illusions. Between the heroes, lays a bridge that symbolizes freedom, fear and impossible dreams.
I am reading Chaos of the senses and I am looking forward to having "aabir sarir" translated to English

Thanks Ahlame
 
Memory in the Flesh  Dec 9, 2003
This book is based around the struggle of Algerians and is centered on the love story of Khalid, a militant, and Ahlam, his friend's daughter. Memory in the Flesh is one of my favorite books because Khalid brought the viewers into his world and helped me concept his thoughts and feelings as if they were my own. He shares every thought and feeling with the viewer and manipulates them to believe him. He has love for Ahlam and he makes you feel as if Ahlam did not have the same love for him. I believe she did because Khalid is a man that I believe lives from his thoughts and he starts to believe they're real as well. We don't get to hear Ahlams inner thoughts and feelings and that is why I believe that this is a one-sided situation.
Ahlam writes to release her stress and she finds comfort in her writings and Khalid does so by painting. There are three things that Khalid loves, his country, his mother, and Ahlam. He combines this love for them into the paintings of bridges. I believe he paints these bridges because they symbolize the space he has between Ahlam, his mother, and his country. Can he cross this bridge? In his thoughts he can but I don't think he can ever meet them on the other side.
Many can read this book and think that Khalid is crazy because his love for Ahlam can be mistaken of being obsessive. Though I don't think he is. This is a man who had his country taken away, his mother taken away, so he meets a woman that has the same qualities and he wants to love her and he wants her to return that love. As many may question the love of Ahlam after reading this book, I question the love of Khalid. Does he really love Ahlam or does he think he loves her because she reminds him of his mother? That's a question I asked myself at the end of the book because in gerneral, Khalid was looking for love because that was something he was missing in his life and maybe he was so in love with being in love. You can take his thoughts and feelings in different directions and interpretate the story in your thoughts, just as Khalid did with Ahlam.

I do believe that his obseesion with being in love merged into the actual love for Ahlam. I also believe that she loved him too, even though her love wasn't as obvious as his. She wasn't as forward as he was and that has to do with the culture fo being Arabic. A woman, especially years ago, does not find a love interest, the love interest is found for her. So, I believe that it was hard for her to express her love to him because she knew the family would forbid it. I envied her in her courage to hold back her feelings and to remain strong. I also envied her in finally admitting to Khalid that she did love him at the end dispite the situation she was in.

By her admitting her love to him, it gave him the opportunity to move on and be content with the fact that Ahlam and him could never be together. He didn't cross that bridge and meet her on the other side but his love for her was stronger than that bridge and she will always be apart of his life with or without her presence.

 
Memory In The Flesh  Dec 9, 2003
This book is based around the struggle of Algerians and is centered on the love story of Khalid, a militant, and Ahlam, his friend's daughter. Memory in the Flesh is one of my favorite books because Khalid brought the viewers into his world and helped me concept his thoughts and feelings as if they were my own. He shares every thought and feeling with the viewer and manipulates them to believe him. He has love for Ahlam and he makes you feel as if Ahlam did not have the same love for him. I believe she did because Khalid is a man that I believe lives from his thoughts and he starts to believe they're real as well. We don't get to hear Ahlams inner thoughts and feelings and that is why I believe that this is a one-sided situation.
Ahlam writes to release her stress and she finds comfort in her writings and Khalid does so by painting. There are three things that Khalid loves, his country, his mother, and Ahlam. He combines this love for them into the paintings of bridges. I believe he paints these bridges because they symbolize the space he has between Ahlam, his mother, and his country. Can he cross this bridge? In his thoughts he can but I don't think he can ever meet them on the other side.
Many can read this book and think that Khalid is crazy because his love for Ahlam can be mistaken of being obsessive. Though I don't think he is. This is a man who had his country taken away, his mother taken away, so he meets a woman that has the same qualities and he wants to love her and he wants her to return that love. As many may question the love of Ahlam after reading this book, I question the love of Khalid. Does he really love Ahlam or does he think he loves her because she reminds him of his mother? That's a question I asked myself at the end of the book because in gerneral, Khalid was looking for love because that was something he was missing in his life and maybe he was so in love with being in love. You can take his thoughts and feelings in different directions and interpretate the story in your thoughts, just as Khalid did with Ahlam.

I do believe that his obseesion with being in love merged into the actual love for Ahlam. I also believe that she loved him too, even though her love wasn't as obvious as his. She wasn't as forward as he was and that has to do with the culture fo being Arabic. A woman, especially years ago, does not find a love interest, the love interest is found for her. So, I believe that it was hard for her to express her love to him because she knew the family would forbid it. I envied her in her courage to hold back her feelings and to remain strong. I also envied her in finally admitting to Khalid that she did love him at the end dispite the situation she was in.

By her admitting her love to him, it gave him the opportunity to move on and be content with the fact that Ahlam and him could never be together. He didn't cross that bridge and meet her on the other side but his love for her was stronger than that bridge and she will always be apart of his life with or without her presence.

 
Memory In the Flesh by Ahlam Mosteghanemi  Dec 8, 2003
Memory in the Flesh was a very intriguing novel. It is told through the voice of Khaled, a former revolutionary who lost his arm during the fight against colonialism. During the revolution Khaled not only lost an arm, he also lost a part of who he was, thus making him feel incomplete, and in a constant struggle to feel whole again. Twenty years after loosing his arm Khaled meets and falls desperately in love with Hayat, who is the daughter of Si Taher, a famous revolutionary martyr and one of his former friends. This novel basically revolves around the love story between Khaled and Hayat; moreover, the entire novel is but a long letter written by Khaled and dedicated to his beloved, Hayat, whose cruelty kills him. What makes this novel great is the wording the author uses to describe this beautiful love story. Through the wording Mostaghanemi allows us not only to delve deep within Khaled's innermost feelings, she also allows us to feel his pain as he narrates the story of his life.
From the very beginning of the novel we are able to see the enormous amount of pain Kahlid experiences. He uses very powerful words to describe his love for Hayat, "When I look back through my life, I find that the only real exceptional event was meeting you." However those same powerful words allow us to know from the very onset how much he is actually hurting. Throughout the course of the novel I became extremely captivated by their love story, so much so that I actually began to feel a sense of pity for Khaled. I couldn't understand why Khaled constantly put himself in the position of being hurt; moreover, I couldn't understand how or why Hayat allowed herself to continue hurting him. I began to see Hayat's love with much skepticism, questioning her love for him altogether.
After carefully reviewing the novel I have learned to appreciate many aspects that I had previously overlooked. For example, I have come to understand and appreciate the reason for Khaled's immense love. Khaled describes his first meeting with Hayat (as an adult) with such a passion, he notices she is adorned with traditional Arabic jewelry, and immediately falls in love with her on many different levels. She begins to represent for Khaled not only a woman, but also a symbolic mother, and a symbolic nation. I also realize the true significance of Khaled's love for Hayat, The most traumatizing aspect of Khaled's life was losing his arm; however, because of Hayat he was able to overcome the pain of feeling incomplete, she in a sense transported him to a place when he himself was whole. In the end, I have also come to realize that I mistakenly Americanized Hayat by assuming that she was free to openly declare her love for Khaled. I now understand the cultural aspect behind Hayat's inability to declare her love, and I realize the importance of seeing Hayat as an Arab woman. I now believe that Hayat actually did love Khaled, moreover, she too will suffer for the loss of this love. "Khaled, don't you know how much I have loved you? I wanted you and desired you like crazy. Something in you made me lose my mind for a while, but I healed myself of you."
 

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