Are writers and writers inspired by the titles of their works from among the folds of lines and texts that they complete? Or does it not necessarily come literally from within the creative text? Do they start with the address or seal it? Does the writer and writer accept that the publisher puts a title for his book?
Since the title is the threshold of the text, can there be a text without a threshold, and a book without a title? Or is that impossible?
And in front of book titles and texts completed for others, did it happen that an author wished that this or that title was his creation? Then what were the first titles that astonished Arab writers, and touched a nerve in their souls? What is the difference between addressing poetry (for example) and addressing other literary and written genres such as novel, biography, story, diaries, criticism, research, translation, arts, science, etc.?
Is the idea of intertextuality in addressing acceptable, or does the title, if placed, become the intellectual property of its writer?
Al-Jazeera Net opens this new corner “My Journey with the Title” in which Arab writers and writers talk about their stories with “The Address”, and their journey with him in writing and receiving, which is an attempt to inform the reader of some of the secrets of writing.
The guest of our session today is the Yemeni novelist and storyteller, Wajdi Al-Ahdal, who enriched the Arab Library with 5 novels, 7 short story and theatrical collections, and two scriptures, and 3 of his novels were translated into English, Russian, French and Italian.
The book is closely related to its title, and the title is often the final summary of the book’s significance. I do not like to take the title verbatim from a line, because to me that seems to me a sign of the laziness of the imagination. For example, in one of my novels, I liked this sentence that was mentioned by the hero “The Land of Small Plots”, but I thought that it was appropriate to the context in which it was said, and was not suitable as a complete work title, so I chose the title close to “the land of happy conspiracies”, which is a title that indicates the old name Yemen is a “happy Arab,” and it carries much broader dimensions.
And in all of my works the title is the final touch. I may start with a temporary address, but after completing the work, I put several options for the work address, and I do a search on Google, and I adopt one of them after making sure that it is unprecedented.
Publisher and translation
I gladly accept the publisher’s suggestions, including choosing the title of the work, but this did not happen with me in the Arabic editions of my books, but it did happen in the translated versions, for example the novel “A Country Without Heaven”, Professor William Hutchins – who translated the novel into English – suggested choosing a different title For the novel (A Land without Jasmine), and his argument is convincing; The heroine of the novel in the Arabic text is named “Samaa”, but in the text translated into English he made a creative translation, and called the heroine of the novel “Yasmine”, which is a common name in English-speaking countries. Thus, he got rid of the literal translation, acted smartly, and conveyed the meaning of the title For the reader in English.
Who Killed Palomino Molero?
I don’t remember reading an untitled book, and I don’t remember ever meeting a person without a name.
There are titles for accomplished books or texts I have read, which I wish they were mine.
And this often happens, like the title of Mario Vargas Llosa’s novel “Who Killed Palomino Molero?” He is so charming, and he leads us to read the novel in search of the answer. Another novel with a title in the form of a question is “Whom do the bells ring?” By Ernest Hemingway. Titles of Naguib Mahfouz’s novels referring to a specific geographical landmark such as “Alley Al-Madaq” and “Khan Al-Khalili” and the trilogy “Between Kasserine, Qasr Al-Shawq, and Al-Sukkariyah” are registered marks, and no one can approach them. One of the titles that I love so much is Abdul Rahman Munif’s Five “Cities of Salt”. This is a genius title that sums up the conditions of the Arab nation in two words.
“Tale of Two Cities”
As for the first title that I clashed with in the beginning and struck a chord in my soul, it is the title of Charles Dickens’ novel “A Tale of Two Cities”. I remember being very impressed with this title, it revealed to me wondrous worlds, and opened one of the gates of imagination in my mind, as if someone uttered the phrase “Open Sesame” that opens the door to the cave full of treasures.
As for the difference between you mean a novel or mean a book in another literary and written category, such as poetry, biography, story, diaries, criticism, research, translation, arts, and sciences; In my opinion, any title should be related to the content of the book. In the event that the book was a collection of critical articles – for example – the title must be sober and free from lightness and manipulation of words. As for the novel, there is room for humor, manipulation of words, and the suggestion of multiple meanings.
For example, I chose a funny title for my second novel, “A Donkey Among the Songs”. My friends used this cute title to exchange insults. Once a quarrel occurred between two of my friends, one of them said to the other, “You are a donkey between the songs,” and the other answered him with a quick snap “and you are a mule between the drums.” “.
The title of my fourth novel, “A Country Without a Sky” is a play with words. If someone does not read the novel, he will think that if he passes through its title, what is meant by “the sky” is the sky above our heads, but the reader who finished reading the novel will realize that what is meant is “Samaa”, the heroine of the novel who disappeared in Mysterious circumstances were never found.
Between paradox and contradiction
I also used the method of paradox and contradiction in the title of my first novel, “Mountain Boats”, and it is known that boats are replaced by the seas. From the beginning, I wanted to cause the reader to become confused, from the very beginning of the text. This is an artistic trick that is used frequently in modern poetry.
The title of my third novel, “The Philosopher of Karantina”, was not successful, and I feel now resentful because I responded to the desire of the publisher, Nabil Abbadi – the owner of the Abadi Center for Studies and Publishing in Sana’a – to abandon the first title I chose for the novel, due to his fear of censorship. The first title that I titled was “Sword of God in Manhattan.”
And on the “idea of intertwining in addressing”, frankly, I did not do anything of the sort in addressing my books, but this does not mean that the idea of intertwining in heading is unacceptable. Rather, I find this type of titles very attractive, such as the title of Abdullah Abbas Al-Eryani’s novel, Al-Hob In the time of the Kalashnikov, “which is a very beautiful title, and bears a connotation with the title of” Love in the Time of Cholera “by Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez.