Aug 232016

holy fool=By= Gaither Stewart


Cultures across time have embraced the archetype of the “fool” or “holy fool.” These cultural characters play many roles, but there is an underlying edge to them, for they force a kind of introspection; a sharp edged examination of the issue at hand; through the use of distraction and misdirection they can defuse situations and allow us to laugh at ourselves. Even in religious contexts these “fools” have an edge and oft times they can trick the gods as well as mere humans. Sometimes they are thought to deliver the message of the gods, or run messages between the gods and humans. There are times when even the secular fool is transmuted into a holy fool and back again, but secular or religious, they have protection to fulfill their role.

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Aug 042016
Gaza Series by Zoriah.

Gaza Series by Zoriah.

=By= Gaither Stewart

A response to Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury.

On this hot Italian late afternoon, after over a week inside the literary work entitled Gate of the Sun, I am still wandering in the gossamer framework of the novel constructed by a great writer and storyteller, Elias Khoury, a 531-page “story” consisting of the stories, incidents, histories, lives and deaths narrated by the author’s canvas of countless characters. I am still not certain if I have read a hymn to the courage of the Palestinian people, its men and women, or a dirge to their ceaseless suffering and death. Or, perhaps, the Lebanese author and activist in the Palestinian liberation movement intended his stupendous work of art as both. In any case, I have not even attempted to write here a review of this complex, poetic masterpiece, originally published as Bab al-Shams by Dar-al-Adab, Beirut, 1998 , first published in the USA by Archipelago Books, and finally the edition I read by Picador, 2005, in the translation by Humphrey Davies which seems to me, a non-Arabic reader, magnificent. For me, this novel is emblematic of the glory of fiction. I would challenge anyone to accomplish in non-fiction what Elias Khoury has done here.

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