Item description for Inside the Night: A Modern Arabic Novel (Modern Arabic Literature) by Ibrahim Nasrallah & Bakr R. Abbas...
"I could not believe that human beings could forget so easily..." Love and life, sex and death, childhood and oppression are Inside the Night. Vivid moments of remembrance, disparate yet interconnected, come together to form the body - torn but not broken - of this novel. Beginning with a scene of departure, the two nameless narrators roam back and forth in time, veering from childhood mischief to a Palestinian refugee camp massacre; from ardent first love to necessary migration to an Arab oil country for employment; from spirited adolescent fantasies to the grim reality of life in an Arab country whose claims to progress are mounted on the bent backs of its people. The narrators' trials, tragedies, and rare but blinding moments of joy are shared with, among others, a mother and a father, an old Jewish woman who married a Palestinian, and an abandoned child living in a hut by himself who dissipates, through his innocence, the enveloping atmosphere of terror. A forest of interwoven tales and strange destinies, Ibrahim Nasrallah's novel carves the history of a people over half a century into fragments that are poetic, multi-sensory, and richly evocative. Inside the Night's self-contained freedom is a refreshing development in the corpus of Palestinian, and human, literature.
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Studio: American University in Cairo Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 8" Weight: 0.84 lbs.
Release Date Sep 26, 2007
Publisher American University in Cairo Press
ISBN 9774160975 ISBN13 9789774160974
Availability 0 units.
More About Ibrahim Nasrallah & Bakr R. Abbas
Ibrahim Nasrallah was born in Amman, Jordan, in 1954, and raised in a refugee camp. After working as a teacher and a journalist, he became vice-president of Darat Al-Funoun, Jordan's most prominent art and cultural center. He has written thirteen poetry collections and eleven novels, as well as works of literary criticism. He is also a painter and a photographer.
Reviews - What do customers think about Inside the Night: A Modern Arabic Novel (Modern Arabic Literature)?
Inside the Palestinian Night Dec 14, 2007
Ibrahim Nasrallah is a poet and a visual artist whom I had the privilege to meet a few years ago when he did a series of readings here in Ireland. "Inside the Night" is the second novel of his that I've read, the first being the slightly earlier "Prairies of Fever". What these novels have in common is their rejection of realistic narration and their atmosphere of nightmarish claustrophobia. It's as if straight, connected storytelling were inadequate to the fractured experience of exile, oppression and humiliation which is the lot of Palestinians. And yet I understand that such a perception does some injustice to Nasrallah, who has written many more traditional "historical" novels that simply haven't made it into English translation. The fact that the Arab world has produced a steady stream of exciting fiction ranging from the conventional to the experimental is something you'd never know from browsing around bookshops in the Anglophone world. The protagonist of "Inside the Night" is forever on the move, forever remembering the past (childhood, sexual encounters, massacres), forever dreading the uncertain future. He is accompanied by a mysterious one-armed personage who at first seems to be his alter ego but gradually acquires too many independent features for this to be the case. The locations switch with bewildering rapidity from an aeroplane to a refugee camp to a down-at-heel hotel to - again and again - the shores of the ocean. While the overall tone is grim and hallucinatory, there is also a rich vein of humour, sometimes truly farcical, often - for some reason - centred around the narrator's moustache, and often linked to the aforementioned sexual encounters. The prose, readably translated by the late Bakr R. Abbas, is unemphatic but occasionally flowers into something like verse. All in all, an extraordinary book, but one that requires a suspension of one's usual reading habits. I suspect I'll re-read it more than once.