The short story is experiencing a great recovery in the world after it was marginalized for years by the influence of the art of the novel over the world of fiction, and as if the writers of the story re-read what the Russian formative Viktor Shklovsky reached when he assumed in his book “The Prose Theory” that the novel can be formed into stories that had previous lives in a form. Separately, citing Don Quixote by Miguel de Therpantes, Decameron by Giovanni Bocacho, Golden Donkey by Apuleius and other works.
The writers of the story today have turned to the idea of the story sequence instead of the group of stories, the first writing a priori structure as an integrated project that includes a number of stories that are in a complete or partial relationship and in harmony, overlap and complementarity, while the second is a compilation of stories written at different times on different topics that are not linked between them Necessarily something.
Arab writers paid attention to this type of writing and began to experiment with it. Perhaps the most prominent recent Arab experiences are “Jokes for the Militants” by Mazen Maarouf, “Talibiya” by Sheikha Halawi, “Al-Kursi” by Talib Al-Rifai, and Al-Razi News by Ayman Al-Dabbousi. Ibrahim Aslan was one of the pioneers of this genre recently.
While the critics considered that Al-Hamdhani is the oldest in Arabic literature, those shrines that narrate the adventures of one person in different situations and at different times, and we may not neglect the truth if we consider that the message of forgiveness and the adventures of Ibn al-Qarah in Paradise is also one of the embryonic stages of this type of writing. In the Arab narrative heritage.
An anecdotal sequence or “story sequence” as some critics call it is a nonfiction book whose stories combine one idea, theme, or character.
And the filling by my grandfather Al-Ahdal is a series of stories even though it had the phrase “a collection of stories” on its cover, because the phrase “story sequence” has not yet been included in the traditions of Arab publishing, just as it is like “self-fiction” which no one from the book except Moroccan Abd dared to use on the cover of his book. Al-Qader Al-Shawi.
Nevertheless, it was written by a number of writers, some of whom were mentioned by the Iraqi critic Thaer Al-Athari in his article, “Why should we consider the story series a literary genre?”, Including Waves of Nights by Edward Al-Kharrat 1991, and I closed my soul on you to Talib Al-Rifai in 1996, and the March of Izbat Al-Jisr by Saad Al-Din Hassan 1998, And let’s play, my grandfather, together like yesterday for Yahya Al-Rakhawi in 2000, the sequences of Bab Six by Saeed Bakr 2001, and the venue’s talk of Foz Rizk in 2005, and Marj Al-Kohl for Munir Otaiba in 2005.
Today, we can add to this list a lot of books that formed a complete code that deserves to be an important critical topic, and what supports it is also that this type of writing tries to achieve its specificity away from the two genders, the novel and the short story, despite the apparent intertwining between it and each of them. It is a novel without plot and does not develop in characters, and it is highly interconnected stories that make the narrator sometimes one and the topic one, which drives her towards the novel.
The book “The Story Sequence: Origins, Naturalization and Representations” by Dr. Thaer Al-Athari, published recently by the House of Treasures of Knowledge in Amman, 2020, represents the first Arab critical work in this field, and it would open a door to research and delve into this type of writing and its ability to rise to the level of gender Literary on the one hand, and working on deconstructing its elements and contemplating its specificity and its relationship to the rest of literary races.
Literary critic Viktor Chiklovsky says, “The collection of stories preceded the contemporary novel, but this judgment does not assume the existence of a causal link, but rather defines a temporal event.
Usually, an attempt is made to connect the constituent parts of the group, albeit in a formal way, as independent short stories are placed inside another short story that those stories are supposed to form parts of.
In this way, the collections “Panchatantra,” “Kalila and Dimna,” “The Heidobadishah,” “The Tales of the Parrot,” “The Seven Ministers,” “A Thousand and One Nights,” and the Georgian text of the short story in the 18th century, and “The Book of Wisdom and Lies” were developed.
This perception leads us to review the naturalization of many Arab literary works that were placed under the sign of the novel and whose writers recalled their personal stories that they had previously published, myths and stories of al-Shatar, and included them in a literary form which he sometimes called criticism as experimental novel and experimental stories and other names, which are in fact within the sequence Anecdotal ones are in another kind, and we can represent these works by “Saba Sabaya” by Saladin Bujah, and “Ras al-Deek” by Hassan Nasr.
Mocking the dictator
The Yemeni writer Wajdi Al-Ahdal bases his book “Mobilization” on a specific idea, the revenge of literature against dictatorship, by mocking it and its symbols, and invokes to his imaginary world the most important symbols of dictatorship in history, to weave his satirical stories about Hitler, Franco, Ceausescu, Marcus, Omar Bingo, Idi Amin Dada, Paul Pot, and Jorge Videla Mugabe, Pinochet, Suharto, Bokasa, Stalin and Napoleon.
In the story “Franco Is Dead,” my grandfather humiliated the tyrant, the tyrant by bringing him face to face with Juan Calikhonte, the lean, foolish young man who feared his wife, a character inspired by the vampire from the Don Cochotta character who was known to have called him a very important character if she responds to someone else.
And that confrontation ended in favor of Caligonti, who faced Franco (the Spanish dictator who died in 1975) with all his weakness, fragility and impotence, collapsing in front of Calijonti’s indifference, who did not tremble at the inevitability of death and the punishment that Franco had promised him. She answered him and did not consider his call important.
The cynicism of Al-Ahdal does not stop at the dictator who sometimes justifies his judgment as being inspired by the people, but goes beyond him to criticize the people themselves who make the dictator, sponsor and inspire him.
Marcus Dictator of the Philippines says in the story of Marcus Meets Murder, “I am a dictator but I am not bad, I do not have a theory ready to apply, and if I have one then I am not a fool to impose it by force, I judge according to the whim of the people, I judge the way they wish to be governed, and I did not come With something from me, in this sense I consider myself a good dictator. “
This is confirmed by the dead man, but he takes advantage of that situation in which the dictator put himself in order to insult him and describe him with poor descriptions. He says: We Filipinos are all this man. And any one of them if he had the opportunity and became the head of the approach that was taken. A Filipino without a stick becomes a corrupt person. “
Wajdi Al-Ahdal relies in writing his stories on historical facts alongside these historical figures, or as the literary critic Philip Hamon calls them reference personalities, to form a dystopia that is opposed to that which these tyrants have created for their peoples before that.
Al-Ahdal goes towards the strangeness and fantasy (miraculous) in many cases, tampering with the bodies of tyrants and exposing them to further humiliate them and minimizing them in front of the reader and the world in a process like literary revival reminding us of what was said about the Brazilian writer George Amado that people feared his anger, because he could make of everyone Angered by a fictional character who reads the whole world and causes laughter.
And if we reproach the writer for his Arab conservatism, and the North Korean presidents also avoiding him and their brutality, and we consider that as an act of selectivity, the question that arises is: How did the writer close his book without paying attention to any contemporary Arab dictator or history?
Do we not expect the writer who mocked the Western, African and Asian dictatorships to mock the brotherhood of this Arab dictator so that these stories become one of the other defense mechanisms for the Arab citizen? Doesn’t the Arab citizen produce dozens of satirical stories and jokes about his tyranny in cafes that deserve to be told and benefit literature from?
Or did the author put an irony, neutral Western road plan for us so that we can track it in our own affairs? So that the curse of the Arab dictator does not chase him with the journey of reading? That reading is fraught with risks and rewards too.