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Have communication sites freed Arabic literature from the power of form?

Technology has played, since the middle of the twentieth century, a great role in nourishing the consciousness of the Arab peoples and making them follow the path of “modernization”, although the latter was not from intellectual choices and historical necessities. Rather, it came as a result of an imposed education that was enshrined in the colonial era and had a great impact on the reality of culture and literature within the world. Arabi.

The entry of technology into the existential and creative human worlds made literature more free from the authority of form, and social networking sites became with it vast spaces for expressing opinion and exchanging ideas without any editorial restrictions imposed by some magazines, newspapers and websites.

To the extent that these writings played a role in liberating the imagination of Arabic literature, on the other hand, they continued to exercise their tendency to what some consider to be an understatement and indifference that does not lead to the crystallization of concepts and asking real and anxious questions about the essence of this Arabic literature and its worlds in the era of the technological boom.

Regarding this intertwining relationship today between literary writing in its relationship with “social media” media and the extent of its influence on literature in general, Al-Jazeera Net had this special investigation with a group of Arab writers from Tunisia, Lebanon and Iraq, so to their talk:

“The means of communication have made us live in a stage: everyone is a writer.”

Natalie El-Khoury Gharib, Lebanese novelist

Lebanese novelist Natalie Khoury Gharib says that social media (Facebook as a model) has become the most prominent literary salon, and the most widely read and widespread advertising media medium, as all poets, novelists, professional artists or young talents are in one literary salon. Everyone writes, everyone publishes, everyone reads, everyone practices criticism, after the poetry and other pulpits were the monopoly of the consecrated names.

And she continues: Generations and tastes have met in the same space, writers and recipients, which puts us in front of a creative dialectic between two classes: a class of consecrated people who want a modernist memory that only recognizes it, and only reveals its creativity, and another class of experimental innovators in distress bored to quickly reach a dedication. Their creativity.

It has been absent from both – according to the author – that each stage in life has its own creative spaces that reflect the conditions of man in his relationship with the other, society and the world around him, and if we want to describe this stage in the impact of social media on the production of a literary text free from any authority, then we must have The recognition that social reality is the one that has gradually freed from the authority of the inherited and consecrated, in art, life and the nature of social relations, and accordingly, this liberation had to be reflected in the nature of literary texts, their language, and their genders.

The means of communication have made us live in the stage of “every person is a writer”, and he has the right to be a writer, meaning that he makes his life a text from which he can be read whenever he wants.

It is the stage of the yearning for experimentation with all its races, which coincides with the unstable nature of life, and the nature of the emotional outpouring in contrast to maturity at the level of expression, language and idea. Therefore we see that the trick is the most common, although it sometimes took the geometry of poetic writing, and sometimes it was written under the name of brief literature or the literature of the flash, in the storage of a complete human condition, in proportion to the intensity of the phrase, and it has become a translation of the emotional outburst that people feel, and it wears the robe of calm wisdom Sometimes, a robe quote that changes color with the carrier dictionary.

According to El-Khoury, this liberation from all authority in writing is the human need to freely express his diaries, disappointments and desires, in the form of a thought, a flash, a message, a short poem, or a very short story.

Literature without naturalization

The writer today, especially on social media, is not interested in classifying, naturalizing, or hybridizing his literature. There is no doubt that the critics’ pursuit of him rejoices that he acquired some legitimacy, or that he consecrated what he adopted, or academically what he read, or that the prize of what was given to him, all of these are incentives, but interaction with the text is no longer restricted to these bodies, and the text is illuminating in beauty and creativity He does not need one.

The time for major issues has ended with its predicates that have been frequently traded, and we see a trend in receiving that savors the text that mimics his diaries, thoughts, disappointments, dreams and love, she adds.

I believe that each generation writes its authenticity, amazement, uniqueness and the meaning it seeks. Literary texts like life – you see Al-Khoury – are the product of accumulations in constant interaction and renewal. Therefore, it must be the means of social media that allowed writers to read many translated texts, from all over the world, and here I greet translators for their free efforts in translating on their pages in poetry and prose. .

The author notes that social media allowed them to read the Arab literary product in its different eras and the gradual renewal in it. It made the possibilities for liberation from the authority of the recognized great, in form and meaning.

“The media has devoted response to the temptation of publishing.”

Osama Ghaly, an Iraqi writer

Usama Ghali – an Iraqi writer – believes that talking about literature requires talking about three problems: in theory, or what is termed poetry. And in species, or what is termed genera. In representations, or what is termed literary criticism. These problems have a need for a wider discussion, and the perceptions that have been approved about them are deflected, but the writing implied here, and in this case, only extends to the question of the dialectical relationship between literature and media, and this is why the three problems are required to be brief, opening, and continues:

Sartre asked: What is literature, as he asked others of course, and this is a fundamental question in the determinants, in the definition, but there is another question that literary epistemology insists upon, and its effect is: Is there a definition of literature ?, Is there a specific decision?

The discussion about the concept of literature still exists, and it has not been resolved – according to Gali – and poetry, in the past and in the present, has tried to push this question towards inclusive answers that prevent Aristotelian understanding, in general, abstractly, such as the two main answers: (a text written in a literary language) which is a descriptive definition that blurs some paradox Is it normal or scientific, and that’s what Jacobson took up. And a second answer leads the question towards literary creation, I mean the creative process, which defines literature as (imagination).

Whatever the angle of view of the answer, literature remains both language and fiction, as the Iraqi writer says.

However, as for what is related to races, this is another problem, in which there is a need to question the concept, the internal and external determinants, the relationship between one sex and another, in addition to the question of origin and transformations, and the question of the form in the gender itself and its process, that is, from the perspective of the history of literature, except that the conversation, the state These are limited within the limits of the current models: poetry, novel, story, biography, poem by prose, and these literary genres are also subject to the endeavor of becoming a presence and absence, meaning the change of literary genres over the passage of eras, or their overlapping, and their intertwining to produce a new literary genre.

And he continues, as for the representations, this is the attention of literary criticism, as it follows the effect, achieved.

Media and literature

In light of these three problems, one can ask about the relationship between media and literature. Did the media contribute to the question of literature? Or in the question of races ?, or in the question of criticism? Did the media displace these problems, impose new visions that are consistent with the age of technology, or continue to exercise their basic function, I mean advertising?

And the media worked to exclude these problems, and dedicate a quick response due to the temptation of publishing, and it did not provide, on a qualitative level, what is new, and I mean new: the different, the differences, the impact. If I intended to use poetry as an example, we can say: There is no new poetry, especially in the last two eras, or the last two decades, justifying the description as new poetry with an impact, according to the writer.

There are attempts, but they are cosmetic. The temptation of form games has dominated poetic writing, and thus lost its effect, and Ghali says that he finds in these games the granting of the media and the age of technology. On the system of the column of poetry, the group of departure from the system of the two halves, and the group of departure from the two systems, a group of poetry is an example, but the current stakes in technology stand at the limits of form in writing, I mean an analogy to the method of Malarme (French poet).

“The start of the digital age, making literature revolve around it”

Hoda Al-Harmi, a Tunisian writer

The Tunisian writer Hoda Al-Harami believes that the world has lost its focus and stereotyped pattern, while social media has become the mastermind of everything. This opened the technical revolution for Arabic literature as a newcomer looking for new appearances in an accelerating age.

She added, the subject of technology has been raised on more than one level and that is through the process of searching for this transformation that is evident in the struggle between the traditional and modern cultures, due to the constantly changing materials of the world and the many leaks of a new literature, open to broad horizons, avoiding mono-meaning and liberating it from Sovereignty of shape, and complement:

In this way, the meaning moved from the one to the pluralism through the expansion of the circle of interaction and the transformation of the reader from a consumer to a producer, so that his role evolved through his relationship with the technological culture. It has become logically impossible to say in the monolithic meaning and the unilateralism of literary truth with the multiplicity of methods of writing and receiving, and modern approaches that add more connotations and visions to the literary text, according to the Tunisian writer.

The hierarchy indicates the emergence of new perceptions of the world that go beyond the constraints of reality and impose a different creative writing, responding to a new system in the way the literary form is constructed and a shift in expression.

With the advent of the wave of the digital age, literature continued to revolve in the same orbit of the dichotomies between the high and the low, due to the emergence of the communal culture provided by social media. Especially in terms of dealing with technology, to become the most prominent influence in consumer societies, which has produced a literary accumulation to the point of satiety, which has become an obstacle to the assimilation of ideas, according to Al-Harmi.

Nevertheless, it is difficult to talk about a new Arabic literature with creative and aesthetic horizons at the level of conscious reading aspirations. As creativity needs, in addition to talent and keeping pace with the cultural scene, to control technology and awareness of it as a mediator.

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