Abdul Hadi Saadoun, an Iraqi poet, novelist and translator residing in Spain, said that many of his book titles for poetry and novels came from a sentence or a line from within the book, or from the idea of the book itself.
But he revealed (in his testimony) to Al-Jazeera Net, speaking about his relationship with the title and his journey with him in writing and receiving, that most of his book titles were born even before the texts were born. “As soon as I like the title and when I think about a specific topic until I find it more worthy of this book than others. But to be honest here. Sometimes, I change a single word of the title or add another so that the title is correct with what I think is really appropriate for the book. Then there are book titles that were born from the moment the first text was written in it, and it is rare that I change it later, as if it is attached to it and from its core, and it is not necessary to neglect it at all. “
Mantra closed doors
In his career with writing and addressing, Saadoun spoke of what he called “the mantra of closed doors,” and here he says: I usually think about the address for a while and write it on a piece of paper in a notebook or a file in the computer. Then the most difficult process begins, which is writing the book.
“The strange thing is that as soon as I thought of a title for a book, whether it was poetic or prose, I found myself sticking to it and not deviating from it, as if it were the real motivation to complete the book’s content. I have the title as a mantra to open the closed doors to my next text.”
Saadoun believes that it is difficult for someone to start a book without stepping on the threshold, but it is possible that the writer is someone who thinks about more than one title parallel to the text, and the confusion lies in which one is best for the book, and many writers have gone through this confusion.
However, the threshold has to be passed even if it is through a temporary address that will soon change a little or a lot depending on the evolution of the book and the clarity of its goal in the end. “In my case, I can say that the threshold is very important to me before I proceed to open the rest of the doors.”
“A hero from this time”
In addition, Saadoun says that he is still, until now, taken in by the aesthetics and uniqueness of the titles of Arab and foreign books that he read decades ago. The title until the last page with its genius, uniqueness and innovation.
He added: Another title of a fictional text that is re-read every year, and how I wished I had written it (A Hero of This Time) by Lermontov (a romantic Russian writer).
Searching for Walid Masoud
In the context of his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, he recalls headlines that he collided with during his early journey and touched a chord in his soul, revealing in this context that he tried, in his first biblical adolescence, to write along its lines in the text and title, such as “One Hundred Years of Solitude” or “The Foam of Life” or ” The Book of Raml “or” The Palm and the Neighbors “or” Looking for Walid Masoud “and other titles.
He also admits, “There were some minor influences left that left their mark in the stories of my first group (today he wears a red stained suit) before I discard them in the other books that follow.”
Saadoun stressed that he does not accept that the publisher puts a title for his book, considering the title and content to be his personal property. “I absolutely do not accept that the publisher puts a title for my book. In fact, I have not been exposed to a position like this from any publisher who had previously published with him and they were many during the last twenty years. The title and content are my personal property. “
However, he added, “I may accept an opinion, but it is not necessary. On the other hand, I place all my trust in the publisher on the issue of the cover design.”
Saadoun admits that there are titles that he read in his creative beginnings and tried to write along their lines in the text and the title. In this regard, he believes that whoever does not differentiate between them will fall into the trap of the conscious reader, he said.
And he added, “The difference is big between you mean a book of poetry or that you mean a book in another literary / book category, and this is understood by those who write in literary categories of poetry, prose and article. Each book has a title and signature that differs from the other book. You cannot mean a novel with a title book. My hair unless you are fully aware of it. “
Then there are very accurate diagnoses in addressing poetry in prose, from the essay, in which the taste, vision and acceptance differ. “And whoever does not differentiate between them, I think he will fall into the trap of the conscious reader. The fact is that when I read recent examples of writers who I like to read, I find that they have fallen into the dilemma of heading when it comes to a poetry book about the last narrative.”
Not a monopoly
And about intertextuality in addressing, and is it an acceptable idea or not? Saadoun (who has translated more than 20 books into Arabic by the most important writers of Spain and Latin America) said that he accepts intertextuality in heading.
Here, Saadoun believes that the matter is not restricted to anyone, just as world literature is full of examples such as “Intertextuality in addressing I accept it very much, and there are important works that participate in addressing intentional intertextuality or aesthetic vision. I do not find the process restricted to anyone as long as there is a certain and clear distinction.” Between the two books, world literature is full of such examples, and we did not find any difference or fanaticism about it, rather the opposite is studied and mentioned in comparative and non-comparative studies.
20 books from Spanish
Saadoun has published a number of literary and poetic books, including his poetry book “Always”, winner of the “Antonio Machado International Prize in Spain, today wearing a red-stained suit” in 1996, “Framing laughter” in 1998, “Family Pseudo-poses” in 2002, “The Mouth Bird” 2006, “Strange Fields” 2010, “Memoirs of an Iraqi Dog” in 2012, “Tostala” in 2014, “Report on theft” in 2020.
In translation, Saadoun transferred from Spanish to Arabic the works of the most important writers of Spain and Latin America, such as Borges, Antonio Machado, Ramon Guimeth, Lorca, Alberti, and others.