What do you say… How do you say?
The predominant choice for the Syrian novel today is the saying, meaning that the value of the novel, the value of the novelist, his fame, and his marketing among readers, is based on the saying he presents, not on the manner in which he presents this saying. Therefore, the Syrian cultural life witnesses great divisions between readers and journalists, while criticism and critics are absent from classifying the novel and assessing its value from the political point of view, not from the artistic point of view, and the extent to which it responds to the conditions of art. While the arena of the novel itself is witnessing a division among the novelists because of the choice of subject.
It is not known, at least to me, whether the novelist is the one who “chooses” the topic and creates an audience around him to encourage and applaud it, or whether the strength of the topics, their violent conflict, apparent or hidden, and the influence of public opinion, are what impose itself on the choices of novelists, or the choices of some novelists.
However, this is the case today; Issues of the novel, or the art of the novel, are absent, or regressed, to the minimum, and you may not find in any Syrian publication, talk about this art from an applied point of view, and most novelists derive their fame, or the audience of their readers from the topic they choose, where small narratives advance The human being on the other side of the conflict is exempted from his existence as a human being.
And if the political position of the novelist is the one who puts the subject in his hands, then we stand today before a new conflict, which is the conflict of subjects, and it is a unilateral reflection of the existing political struggle in the country. , for those who choose their topic as a matter of opposition.
Fans of “The Subject” only read what satisfies their political position
Therefore, the selection of some topics opened the horizon for some novels to be politically neutral in the conflict. Choosing terrorism, for example, as a fictional topic, relieves the novelist, and the novelist, of the responsibility of defining his position on the conflict between the authority and the opposition, as ISIS and al-Qaeda turn into an absolute external force devoid of politics. It is only filled with crime and terrorism, and there are those who exploit this issue to put the entire Syrian revolution in the small pocket of terrorism.
The other thing that follows from preferring the topic is that all novels are equal in historical value, and they also perform the task of justifying and defending the topic, regardless of its humanity or inhumanity, or its moral truth.
This is why the reading of the Syrian novel declines, contrary to the delusions that many think. Fans of the subject are very fragile, and they only read what they want to meet their political positions, as emotional and aesthetic needs are absent here, just as the answer to: “Why do we read the novel?”, or the more general question: Why literature and art?
In my opinion, it is a special case that may not be similar to any novel case, in any country that witnessed a civil or semi-civil war, in our time, and I did not read among all the Spanish novels, for example, that were written about the Spanish Civil War like this, as they were in their entirety biased To the issue of man as a whole, not the political man alone.
A novelist from Syria