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eBook I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody ePub

eBook I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody ePub

by Sinan Antoon

  • ISBN: 087286457X
  • Category: Genre Fiction
  • Subcategory: Literature
  • Author: Sinan Antoon
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers (June 1, 2007)
  • Pages: 168
  • ePub book: 1175 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1429 kb
  • Other: docx mbr doc azw
  • Rating: 4.1
  • Votes: 482

Description

I'jaam: an Iraqi Rhapsody, by Sinan Antoon, is one of the two current works of fiction set in totalitarian Iraq that I recommend without qualification. The other is In the Country of Men, by Hisham Matar.

I'jaam: an Iraqi Rhapsody, by Sinan Antoon, is one of the two current works of fiction set in totalitarian Iraq that I recommend without qualification. Kafka and Solzhenitsyn gave us the classics of living in European Police States. Antoon and Matar give us an artistic hint of such life in two secular Arab states: Khadafi's Libya and Hussein's Iraq. I'jaam is the most brilliantly artistic, ranking easliy with the best of Kafka and Solzhenitsyn

Sinan Antoon (Arabic: سنان أنطون‎), is an Iraqi poet, novelist, scholar, and literary translator. He has been described as "one of the most acclaimed authors of the Arab world.

Sinan Antoon (Arabic: سنان أنطون‎), is an Iraqi poet, novelist, scholar, and literary translator. He is an associate professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. Antoon was born in 1967 in Baghdad. in English with distinction from the University of Baghdad in 1990 with minors in Arabic and Translation

Sinan Antoon's I'jaam is included in an article about contemporary Arabic .

Sinan Antoon's I'jaam is included in an article about contemporary Arabic novels in the current issue of the New Yorker. Hear an interview with Sinan Antoon on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show PRI's "The World" Democracy Now! An inventory of the General Security headquarters in central Baghdad reveals an obscure manuscript. This book arrives at a crucial moment in our history as the decision is being made whether to expand or terminate the . Allowing for some past perspective, the narrative attempts to shed light on the terrorized life of certain Iraqi citizens under Saddam Hussein's rule.

Start by marking I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody. An inventory of the General Security headquarters in central Baghdad reveals an obscure manuscript  . Sinan Antoon has been published in leading international journals and has co-directed "About Baghdad, " an acclaimed documentary about Iraq under US occupation. 27 people like this topic.

An inventory of the General Security headquarters in central Baghdad reveals an obscure manuscript. I'jaam : An Iraqi Rhapsody.

Anṭūn, Sinān, 1967-; Johnson, Rebecca C. (Rebecca Carol).

Karissa Scott, "Sinan Antoon's I'Jaam is a stunning work, as it brings to the present a world of terror we know about .

Karissa Scott, "Sinan Antoon's I'Jaam is a stunning work, as it brings to the present a world of terror we know about, we have previously read about, but which usually seems remote, unreal. It takes a great talent to make it so specific, so Iraqi in this case, and so personal. This author shows the particular sadistic humor that goes with cruelty, a "cultural" slant that makes us identify it with the places where it happens. Sinan Antoon is indeed a worthy successor to the tradition of Arab humanist described by the late Edward Said as 'scholar-activists.

Iraqi-born poet and novelist Sinan Antoon joins us in our firehouse studio to discuss the . His novel I’jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody was recently published in English, and a collection of his poetry was also published in June, called The Baghdad Blues. occupation of Iraq, his latest novel, I’jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody, poetry and much more. Antoon says, Even if there is withdrawal, it’s going to be withdrawal Israeli-style: from urban centers to the military base. hat have been built there with millions and millions of dollars. Sinan Antoon joins us in our firehouse studio. Welcome to Democracy Now!

An inventory of the General Security headquarters in central Baghdad reveals an obscure manuscript. Written by a young man in detention, the prose moves from prison life, to adolescent memories, to frightening hallucinations, and what emerges is a portrait of life in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

In the tradition of Kafka’s The Trial or Orwell’s 1984, I’jaam offers insight into life under an oppressive political regime and how that oppression works. This is a stunning debut by a major young Iraqi writer-in-exile.

Sinan Antoon has been published in leading international journals and has co-directed About Baghdad, an acclaimed documentary about Iraq under US occupation.

Comments

Nilabor Nilabor
“Pentimento” is a fine descriptor for Sinan Antoon’s layered novella, one that incorporates a young student’s gritty and terrifying incarceration, poetic and beautifully rendered romantic memories, and recollections on life under Saddam Hussein’s harsh totalitarian regime. The text whirls between joy, humor, sadness, horror, and fear; dipping in and out of what the protagonist is experiencing or has experienced; blurring the lines between past, present, reality, dreams, and hallucinations. The evocative first line: “Two clouds kissed silently in the Baghdad sky” soon collides with the line uttered by a member of the secret police: “If you move again, I swear to God I’ll crush your teeth.” This is a rhapsody to the author’s country as it once was, to the proud spirit of the Iraqi people, yet it is also a cry of profound grief, as Antoon has witnessed his nation being trampled by dictators and its riches plundered. The work is powerful and complex, authentic and honest, a devastating warning. --Laury A. Egan
Uylo Uylo
As one other reviewer, Ronald Scheer has noted, one of the dominant themes in this novella is the Orwellian nature of life in Iraq, familiar to any reader of Orwell's classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four There is the ubiquitous Father figures of the Great Leader plastered everywhere; the compulsory attendance at political rallies where enthusiasm must be feigned; the omnipresent "secret" police sniffing for any sign of independent and/or "deviant" thought. The protagonist wanted to complete a thesis on Orwell, and perhaps it is no surprise that he finds the author's books banned in the country. And to complete the theme, and Antoon does it subtly, the year itself must be 1984 (three years into the Iranian-Iraq war of the 1980's which is another dominant theme in the book.) Readers of Kafka's The Trial or Nabokov's Invitation to a Beheading will also note numerous other resonances. But Antoon's voice is amazingly authentic, and he mixes his Orwellian themes with several others.

What is truly unique about the novel are the implications of the title, and how the novella has been translated (it helps to be familiar with Arabic, and it must be a real joy to be fluent English/ Arabic to fully understand the puns, and the quality of the translation). One aspect of the Arabic alphabet is the use of "dots" above and below the lines and curves, and it is these dots that determine a difference in the letters. This mechanism is used in approximately half the letters. "I'jaam" refers to this practice, as the author explains. When the dots are omitted, obviously a given line or curve could be two or more letters, and it is this ambiguity that is delightfully played upon. It must have been a real effort for the translator, Rebecca Johnson, to determine suitable English equivalents that corresponded to the Arabic. For example, is it "revulsion" or "Revolution"; is it "National Hemorrhage," or "National Heritage"?

The protagonist is a secular Christian, and a Chaldean to boot (and I thought that term only applied to people 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.) He is also somewhat deformed, with a withered left arm which exempts him from military service, but is apparently not a liability in seeking relations with the opposite sex. Antoon authentically portrays the flirtatious interactions of two somewhat rebellious college students, which includes some first rate eroticism.

Saddam Hussein's Iraq or George Bush's America? Concerning military service, Antoon has the protagonist say: "...but I still could not imagine relatives of important officials fighting on the frontlines, even if they were found to be fit. They would most likely be assigned to an administrative unit in their hometown and struggle to show up once a month in order to avoid embarrassing their commanding officer." As we know, in America, Bush could not manage to show up for an entire year. And how about this as a poke at Western "experts" on the Middle East: "At night, footage of these crowds of students rallying around their leadership were distributed and sent out to the world, where experts and analysts would compete to explain to their honorable audiences the mystery of our love for tyranny." The scene were the Professor goes "ballistic" with a student who is wearing a red rose resonated strongly with me. The reasons were different however, between the Professor, and his fear of the meaning of the red rose, and the religious police in Riyadh, who feared the same beautiful and innocuous flower for a different reason. And there is even some very good poetry tucked into the story, that the protagonist is writing. Concerning a suicide from a high-rise building, he concludes with the line: "...the sidewalk accepted my resignation from life."

It is amazing how much Sinan Antoon has packed into a novella of under 100 pages. The author indisputably has much talent, and it is a shame that he does not publish more books. 5-stars.
Drelahuginn Drelahuginn
Unexpectedly hilarious, irreverent, and deeply heartbreaking, I'jaam touched me in surprising ways. Sinan Antoon made me wish that Arabic fluency was something I needed in my life, such were the puns. If you want to understand the depth of Iraqi identity, or of the leaden suppression of thought or independence under Sadam Hussein, or the miracle of hope under unbearable conditions, read this book. It actually left me feeling that somehow, circumstances may change for the better in Iraq.
Swordsong Swordsong
I'jaam: an Iraqi Rhapsody, by Sinan Antoon, is one of the two current works of fiction set in totalitarian Iraq that I recommend without qualification. The other is In the Country of Men, by Hisham Matar. Kafka and Solzhenitsyn gave us the classics of living in European Police States. Antoon and Matar give us an artistic hint of such life in two secular Arab states: Khadafi's Libya and Hussein's Iraq.

I'jaam is the most brilliantly artistic, ranking easliy with the best of Kafka and Solzhenitsyn. Set in Hussein's Bagdad in perhaps 1982,it is filled with ambiguity -- an imaginary prison memoir. Written ostensibly from a mixture of memory and nightmare, we are jerked from the prison isolation cell to the dreams of events and loves before imprisonment. In one paragraph we are with his grandmother, or his co-ed university friend, and suddenly we are back in the terror of the isolation cell. Imprisoned for who knows what? He doesn't know. His condition is not unlike the condition of hundred or thousands of Iraqi's currently incarcerated as a result of the Iraq War, and so it has real current relevance.

The central conceit of the novel is the ambiguity inherent in the written Arabic language. Certain of the letters require dots (I'jaam) or the word cannot be understood -- it may have any one of several meanings. This fictional prison document was written without the dots, which were inserted by a government functionary. Antoon has built from those beginnings a masterpiece of the imagination.

Lionel Youst
I am hcv men I am hcv men
Great book and goes over a very critical issue.
Miromice Miromice
As a product of the Iraqi diaspora, this has easily become one of my favorite books, and sinaan is now my favorite author. Mesmerizing historical fiction, draws you in and makes you feel everything.