The relationship between the novel and history is characterized by many features. All this is due to the monotony of narration and the unity of storytelling that characterizes fiction writing, by virtue of its ability to address major issues that pass from Arab societies, ancient and modern.
Because of the novel’s ability, boldness, and ability to dig and dig into imagined and repressed societies, it was still able to capture small details from the lives of these societies and turn them into works of a novel, as its features crystallized within some Arab experiences such as Abdul Rahman Munif, Sanallah Ibrahim, Naguib Mahfouz and others. Read also Academic anger in Britain .. amending the history curriculum for British high school students in line with the Israeli narrative Muflah: The historical novel records what historians have neglected “Neighbors of Abi Al-Abbas” after “Neighbors of Abi Musa”… Moroccan Minister Ahmed Al-Tawfik and a new historical novel adventure
On the relationship between the novel and history, and to what extent the novelist’s achievement contributed to writing a new Arab history that is more daring and looser than the sway of tradition; Al Jazeera Net had this special report with a group of Arab novelists and critics.
The novels recorded a true history of events.
Shaker Al-Anbari, an Iraqi novelist
The Iraqi novelist says that the Arabic novel has tended in recent decades to address the problems of the individual within a specific society in time and space, clearly moving away from major slogans, constructional rhetoric and fabrication. In this sense, she was able to raise what is happening in the daily reality of dialogues, worries and pains to the isthmus of non-transcendental language, which was positively reflected on the expansion of knowledge, social and political horizons in the text written fictionally. Thus, the local environment, individual awareness and the repercussions of major events in the movement of individuals took root within the temporal space granted to them.
Al-Anbari continues, “We witnessed a great narrative wave with hugely diverse methods and contents, which carried with it the effects of wars, civil conflicts and social crises, such as religious and sectarian dissonance, targeted and programmed violence, and migrations towards other calmer continents and perceptions different from what the ruling or religiously dominant authorities planned. politically and culturally.
That is, the narratives emerging from the womb of Arab societies began to record a true history of events, a detailed history neglected or ignored by the official records of modern history. The previously silent societal bottom in the fictional text was hot and sometimes shocking, and this is considered a huge development in the style of fiction writing in the Arab world, according to Al-Anbari.
The Iraqi novelist considers that moving away from major issues with broad “manchitects” at the forefront of historical blogs, and searching for the stories and stories of the victims and the marginalized, the true history makers; All of this made the Arabic novel a flavour, identity, and a tremendous cognitive function. By reading these comprehensive panels of characters, events, internal repercussions, and frustrated dreams, any critic, social researcher, or programmer for the future of a country can easily fall into the reality of what is going on and interact outside those shiny headlines. This makes a real history of a stage, a history that was falsely read from a distant other or from a dominant authority of all kinds.
He adds, “Most of the immortal novels in human consciousness fed on this vision in writing, and I believe that the pressure of what is tangible and realistic in daily life and the growing scientific mentality that contradicts myths, mystics and antiquated postulates, is what prompted real writers and serious creators to ignore the dominant authoritarian official history and write down the history of The simple and dreamy individual who seeks just and beautiful conditions of life, in clear harmony with the progress reached by mankind in science, social, philosophical and aesthetic research, and human rights.
However, this journey in the transformations of writing cannot establish its feet in the Arab writing environment without the creative talent of the creator, the owner of the flying imagination and the searcher for the beauty space represented by the successful novelist text, which affects the reader who is deeply in touch with his conscience, concludes Al-Anbari.
History is a kind of narrative.
Mostafa El Hamdaoui, a Moroccan novelist
There is a semi-objective ambiguity that always affects the relationship of the novel with history, according to the Moroccan novelist Mustafa Al-Hamdawi, because history is in itself a kind of “independent” narrative that constantly intersects with the narrative narrative, and the same thing we can drop on the novel in its handling of history. The Arabic novel has been able – to some extent – to reconcile the documentary novel with the historical novel.
Al-Hamdawi added, “On the other hand, there are many Arab novels that have been mistakenly classified as historical novels, while those novels were written in a documentary format far from the clear concept of the historical novel. To determine the distance between documentation and history, we can simply – and here the paradox – note that the purely historical novel It is she who takes a little bit of history, and unleashes the imagination to interfere in the details that do not affect the real historical events.”
He goes on to say that, on the other hand, we find the documentary novel working entirely on historical events, and is almost devoid of imagination. Despite this confusion, we can talk about Arab historical novels that have strongly imposed their presence on the Arab novel scene.
Hence, we see that the historical Arab novel was relatively able – despite the narrow margin – to give the reader a different view of the classic history that we know and read in history books, according to the Moroccan novelist.
Al-Hamdawi says, “I personally see that working on the historical novel has become more of a necessity than a mere diversification in the Arab novelist scene, because history is not just a documentation of events and dates only, but rather a radical dismantling of collective memory and its restructuring according to narrative controls that take into account the mechanisms and mechanisms of the art of the novel and its authentic identity that It should not give itself free to history.”
“The writer makes history by writing.”
Akram Muslim, a Palestinian novelist
The Palestinian novelist Akram Musallam says that there is no such thing as “history”; There are even dates. We are accustomed to understanding history as chronicling events recounted in books that call themselves history books. Every human interaction in space and time is a historical activity, even when the writer holds the pen to write, he makes history by writing it, and it becomes part of the “game”, part of the power relations that govern historical writings, through its tool “language” which is also a non-neutral and weighty tool. Reality and its conditions, according to the Palestinian novelist.
The author of “The Biography of the Sweaty Scorpion” believes that any history is material for creative work, and it is related to the method of handling and the writer’s choices, and “personally, I think that the most attractive in the “history” is the invisible, neglected and unheard. Great wars leave deep imprints on ordinary people, Their places disintegrated, their times changed, and they suffered amazing losses. I like to work here, highlighting these losses, and repairing ruin, in a way that modifies the tendency of power relations in reality and in the official written history.”
The owner of “Bint from Shatila” continues that in the case of colonialism, the responsibility is higher, because telling the story is a matter of existence and not “specifications” of existence, and because the “mill” of the executioner is more powerful, and because the complete erasure and keeping the colonized group outside “history” and outside geography is the issue, but it is required. It is creativity to realize itself with aesthetic determinants, as the moral bias of fair narratives does not absolve him of his aesthetic responsibility.
All novels are historical novels.
Hossam El Din Nawali, Moroccan criticقد
Moroccan critic Hossam El Din Nawali says that works of art – including fictional fiction – should be understood as supposed answers to questions posed by the writer, his generation or his group. All fiction writings meet at two points; On the one hand, it depends on time for the development of actions, and consequently on the facts, and then on the narrative material, and then on the other hand it is directed to a being with a historical condition framed by the historical existential time and the history of its readings. In this sense, all novels are historical novels.
However, Nawali adds, “But we should separate this general level from another level related to narrated history, as in the works of” Jurji Zaydan. From investing the laws of life and referencing to achieve persuasion with realism, and therefore the relationship of the novel with the historical era is not an exclusive relationship, but rather remains open to the whole human being outside the limits of time and place, and it can be received and tasted even outside these borders, and in a broader way related to the general human joint in which all operates artistic and imaginative forms.
He adds, “Receiving them as real materials is a departure from the core and course of artistic and narrative practice. Historical facts – in general – are narrative materials that have been preserved and circulated for many reasons, meaning that their survival – without other facts – is the product of a certain selection, and it is assumed that This selection also finds reasons to return it later, considering certain specifications available in it. The novelist re-selects, but he fills in the blanks, adjusts and corrects, and perhaps rearranges the events and cancels, transcends and adds in order to formulate a new path planned by Arab civilization.
On this basis, the novel proposes a new formation of consciousness as it proposes different paths of civilization, and not only questioning the past, according to the Moroccan critic, then history in this sense does not only intersect with the novel in their reliance together on the narrative and the anecdotal material, but rather overlap because they together occupy the spaces leading to difference. The multiplicity and the infinite, as they give together the imagination and the exotic and the transcendence of the possible.
Thus, both of them are not self-sufficient, but the novel can evoke history and reformulate it according to its current issues and discourses, and thus correct understanding, form a new awareness and build a different history, just as history can interfere in the making of current thought through the process of receiving, understanding and interpretation to which it is subject, concludes Nawali.