SAO PAULO, The relationship between an Arabic novel and history within the context of the Arabic-speaking world and, in particular, the process of producing a literary history of the novel genre written in Arabic, was the focus of a panel discussion titled, “Novel Landscape,” organised on Saturday at the ongoing Sao Paulo International Book Fair.
Featuring Naser Al Dhaheri, Emirati author, and Sultan Al Amimi, Emirati poet and novelist, and moderated by Emirati author Asmaa Al Zarouni, the discussion introduced the audience to the distinctive characteristics and narrative techniques that have shaped the novel in the Arab world, and helped it become one of the most prominent assets of the region’s literary landscape, sought after by readers worldwide.
Al Dhaheri stressed the specifics of the development of novels in Emirati literature, underling its inextricable relationship with short stories and the entire pedagogical system in the UAE. He pointed out that this relationship is becoming even more pronounced in contemporary Emirati works, which are often inspired by short stories, the system of education, and trends in media.
Answering the popular question, why the novel is the most celebrated literary genre, novelist Al Amimi said, “Novels bridge the gap between readers and their dreams, their imaginations and their reality, through a plot created by the author.”
He noted that writing a novel has the ability to offer an author an endless creative horizon and the possibility to explore anything and everything that can be turned into prose.
Al Amimi emphasised that there are no specific criteria or conditions that determine the success or failure of a novel, because there are many factors, including target audience, the circumstances and events surrounding the development of the topic, and the place and time in which it was published.
He noted that many novels become popular posthumously, some authors produce one bestseller but are unable to follow up on their success, and some have written many books, only to be remembered for a single work that dominated their entire career, while others enjoy success with every work they write.
The panel formed part of the cultural programme that celebrates the selection of Sharjah as the Sao Paulo International Book Fair’s Guest of Honour, which runs until 12th August, 2018.
Source: Emirates News Agency