"Novels that I love".. Has fictional literature become the largest source of knowledge for new generations?
Iraqi novelist and translator Lutfia al-Dulaimi begins her book “The Novels I Love” by pointing out the importance of contemporary fiction and its ability to say anything and everything in our contemporary life.
This book – which was published by “Dar Al Mada 2018” – includes a translation of 6 dialogues dealing with each of the philosophical, contemporary, psychological and historical novels, the classics of science fiction novels and the Latin American novel.
Lutfia Al-Dulaimi says, “These are the most important fields that fictional art has dealt with since its inception until the present time,” and that “narrative art remains the most fulfilling of the conditions of originality and the most fulfilling the requirements of human passion.”
Based on her experience with fictional art, reading and translating, Lutfia Al-Dulaimi noticed that there is a tendency among contemporary novelists towards making the novel a cognitive text within the limits of what they can employ and enjoy. For example, novels of the 21st century are full of scientific, philosophical, psychological and historical knowledge.
The author of the novel “The Ladies of Saturn” goes on to say that there is a growing conviction that the modern novel will play in the coming years the role of a knowledge incubator that provides future generations with a reasonable amount of renewable forms of knowledge for the generations of the digital world, and the capable novelist will be able to rebalance the dominant analytical and digital knowledge to help with his work. Creative to enhance the efficiency of its readers who are passionate about using the creative energies available to the human mind.
Translation is like love
In response to whether the translator was another writer of the original text, Latifa Al-Dulaimi tells Al-Jazeera Net, “Yes, I completely agree; every translated text is a text parallel to the original text, and the idea of translational conformity is a pure illusion for fundamental reasons that have nothing to do with the extent of the professionalism of the translator. The translated text bears the imprint of both.” : the author and the translator, and the engagement between any translated text and its translator cannot be disentangled.
Translation is an act similar to a love relationship in which the two parties are keen on its permanence and success through dialogue and understanding in a negotiating formula between them in order to reach the maximum states of harmony. formulation of meaning.
And she adds that translation is “an act similar to a love relationship in which the two parties are keen on its permanence and success through dialogue and understanding in a negotiated formula between them to reach the maximum state of harmony.” In translation – as the Italian writer Umberto Eco expresses – there is a process of “negotiation between two languages” in which each language gives up some of its entity. expressive to achieve the intent in formulating the meaning.
Lotfia Al-Dulaimi translated the dialogues of the book from the “FIVE BOOKS” website, which is available for free reading. The idea of these dialogues is based on an interview with an expert who is internationally recognized for excellence in a specific field of knowledge at the academic and general cultural levels, and that expert is asked to choose 5 books that he considers the most prominent and influential in the history of that field of knowledge; With the aim of enhancing the general cultural background and revealing places of quality and distinction in the prevailing cultural publications.
Regarding the reasons for this passion for translating fictional dialogues, Al-Dulaimi said, “For years I have been preoccupied with translating some recent publications that include solid academic and critical studies on fictional art for several reasons, including that the novel – despite my various preoccupations – remains my first and great passion for writing and translating, not caring for dialogues.” Just about the novel.
And she adds, “In order to see the experiences of world novelists, their thinking style, and their personal vision of the role of the novel in bringing different cultures closer together and their relationship to writing and narrative narrative in particular, I translated 47 dialogues with female novelists and novelists from all parts of the world, east, west, north, and south, and they appeared in my book “The Physics of the Novel and the Music of Philosophy.” .
Does the novel treat depression?
Lutfia Al-Dulaimi believes that there is a pragmatic aspect associated with the art of fiction that can provide, in special cases, a treatment for some psychotic disorders such as bipolar depression, noting that some writers of the novel talked about their own experiences and how fictional writing helped to overcome the difficult and destructive phases in a way that medicine was unable to accomplish. Also, some psychologists have gone to the possibility of adopting novel writing as a therapeutic prescription in certain specific cases.
Lutfia Al-Dulaimi attributed the relationship between novel writing and the treatment of depression to the inevitable rituals associated with novel writing supported by the discipline and rigor typical of every novel effort. These rituals may help curb external confusion with the horrible noise associated with it.
Lutfia al-Dulaimi attributed the relationship between novel writing and the treatment of depression to the inevitable rituals associated with novel writing supported by the discipline and rigor typical of every novel effort. These rituals may help curb external confusion with the horrible noise associated with it.
In the context of “the psychological novels that I love,” novelist and psychological therapist Sally Vickers says about the relationship between literature and psychology that in the field of literature a writer can delve deeply into the heart, mind and spirit of any of his fictional characters in a more successful way than any other human being might do.
Al-Dulaimi adds, “A lot of my psychological experience in my fictional works did not come from my communication with those who suffer from psychological problems, as much as it came from my ability to stimulate the sources of excitement in myself and gather them in a focus capable of being a reflection of the problems that I encountered while I was moving on my own path in life.” “.
In this book, “The Novels That I Love,” the author points out a point that preoccupies many writers and readers, which is the “best-selling” list, explaining that the best novels are often not those that achieve the highest sales simply because of their knowledge of market conditions and commercial games, and she adds, “It is not surprising that Fiction works are associated with societies that have achieved the highest degrees of scientific, technical, economic and political achievement.
Lutfia Al-Dulaimi believes that the novel represents a kind of collective memory that is distinctive for all countries and peoples of the world, and every novelist is interested in learning about the treasures of the collective memory of all peoples through novel works and studies about it, just as the novel today represents a civilized and cultural landmark that is promoted by high-minded minds in various cognitive pursuits, in addition to To being a creative effort that opens new horizons for human awareness and imagination, in addition to the fact that the novel is specifically a soft tool of cultural globalization.
For these reasons, Al-Dulaimi translated the book “The Development of the Modern Novel”, which is an encyclopedia of the history of fictional art in the era of modernity, and includes a view of postmodern novels. Standard and exemplary books dealing with the art of fiction, then I translated the book “The Contemporary Novel”, and followed it with the book that we are dealing with in this area.
In an interview with her about “historical novels that you love,” British novelist and journalist Vanora Bennett, who specializes in the Russian and French languages and is known for her historical novels, says that Tolstoy’s novel “War and Peace” is the most important historical novel, and it is one of the best books written of all time.
Lutfia Al-Dulaimi believes that a skilled novelist can employ fictional art in a desirable, pragmatic societal way, by making the novel a medium that carries cultural pluralism and its manifestations. Such as the narration of minorities, and the narration of migrant groups in countries receiving immigrants as a form of spreading a culture of tolerance and openness to the other and his culture in an era when extremist tendencies fueled by closed cultures are characterized by strict religious readings, she said.
According to this view, we find it natural that the value of the novel increases as a mediator that reinforces the idea of cultural pluralism in fragile societies. Al-Dulaimi points out that the use of the novel as a tool in shaping open social engineering will become a whole range of multiple cultural preoccupations. Such as sociology, anthropology, and the history of minorities, their languages, and their cultural contributions.
As an example of “philosophical novels that I love,” Lutfia al-Dulaimi translates a dialogue with novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein about her writing of the philosophical novel, and how her first experimental attempts with the philosophical novel were a response to those extreme existential questions that she faced after she lost any inclination towards religiosity, especially since she She grew up in a very religious family, and when she gave birth to her second child, she lost her father, and she was then a professor of philosophy who did not stop wondering about the dramatic changes in life.
Writing the novel taught her a lot about all kinds of questions that had been preoccupying her for years, and when she returned after writing each novel to her philosophical field, things seemed clearer to her.
Al-Dulaimi points out that each novel has its own characteristics that it derives from its cultural heritage, the lifestyle of its people, traditions and personal interests. While the Arab novels are predominantly preoccupied with the prevailing social and political conditions and the issue of the absence of various freedoms in Arab societies, the Western novel mostly accompanies intellectual, scientific, philosophical and social changes that reformulate many concepts in the life of the Western man.
The Arab and Western novels
Lutfia Al-Dulaimi talks about the difficulty of making a comparison or showing the advantages of each of the Arab and Western novels, as each novel has its own characteristics that derive from its cultural heritage, the lifestyle of its people, traditions and personal interests, and reveal the nature of immediate preoccupations with various human issues and visions of the future, in addition to re-reading the history of A country in specific eras with a critical vision.
On the other hand – Al-Dulaimi continues – a large number of Arab novels are dominated by preoccupation with the prevailing social and political conditions and interest in the issue of the absence of different freedoms in Arab societies, and many novels tend to embody the facts of economic transformations and their impact on human relations, and they are technically dominated by a traditional character. For the narration that we are used to in the classic and modern novel, and it is rare to find novels that risk presenting unprecedented forms and methods of narration.
As for the Western novel, it mostly accompanies the intellectual, scientific, philosophical and social changes that reformulate many concepts in the life of the Western man, and is concerned with subjective issues and intimate relationships. And the impact of these applications on human life and relationships, which calls for dealing with visions and attitudes that go beyond all that is fixed and traditional in human life.