I was in “The Book Club” last Wednesday in Kerbala. A new novel by Ala’a Mashthub was recently published. In that novel Mashtoub talks about history of Iraq. He doesn’t name them frankly but his protagonists seems to be: Arbaham, Ismail, Hajir, Hamourabi, and others. An old man commented that Mashthub is fabricating. Mashthoub answered: “I don’t understand what is fabrication, do you mean collage?”
Another attendee, Jasim A’asi, reminded us of a short story by Jaleel Al-Qaisy in which the protagonist flies in a space ship to Sumer and meets ancient people. A’asi said that the novelist’s duty is not that of the historian. The novelist wants to transfer the soul of that era to us.
Another old man then commented: “But now the question is: is it acceptable for a novelist to write that Solomon had called Bilqis, the queen of Sheba, by mobile phone?
That was such an interesting evening.
I think I got much to learn.
A good thing.