Bahjat Rizk and the quest for intimacy

Bahjat Rizk and the quest for intimacy

We knew Bahjat Rizk field of research in political anthropology , and publications on the theme of cultural pluralism and the Lebanese identity. We are therefore surprised to meet him today on a completely different field , that of writing intimate , a deeply emotional writing and therefore , more subjective, internalized , borrowing from the spiritual quest .

This is a dense book, organized into three distinct parts , virtually autonomous . The first part, the identity leak or the confession of a long night, is written as a diary dominated by anxiety , war (the real one , that the narrator passed through and the other war , this one interior ) , and fear of death. The second part entitled Passions brings together several stories that borrow autobiography ( one that deals with the particular house , home or home – cradle – tomb ) or fiction , which masks which tells the meeting between Paul and Mary , but also blurs the writing willingly boundary between these two registers, with an end where the two characters have disappeared and which is written in the third person . Finally, the third part , interior Mother revolves around women and places : places here and abroad , private and public places , real and dreamed places , the author addresses these places invoked (“You cry my city when I hold you in my arms. weep O my beloved city . I implore each of your districts, each of your stones “) , blurring the tracks again , and moving between places and all women as elusive , Eve revealing many faces beyond him constantly .

Rizk says that writing these introspective lyrics spans thirty years , some excerpts had been published , but they are unified in a single work for the first time . What gives them their unity, he said, they belong to the “interior monologue” registry. It is Jad Hatem who at once commented these writings in his recent book Out of identity and family novel , and encouraged Rizk to publish and put the author in touch with the editor. Hatem wrote Rizk borrows ” to Joyce’s Ulysses interior monologue , to Kafka uncertainty that affects the ego, to Broch the the crisis of values ​​that takes the world without the awareness of death not succeed, as in Virgil, to the total self-knowledge . “

For Rizk however, there is a continuity between this literary writing and the intimate , analytical, its anthropological research since both refer to his desire or his ” obsession with the search for identity .” “There is certainly initially a part autobiographical inspiration , he says, but it is essentially a work of fiction as any work of literary creation. However, this work is dedicated in its entirety to the person to whom these texts were sent to the origin and whose initials appear at the beginning of the book, with the words in memory . So there is a loyalty to personal experience , but it is by no means an autobiographical narrative must be read as a work of fiction. “

Rizk hopes that this publication heralds the beginning of a second life , literary one. He sees it as a return to essentials, to a thread , an underground path . It is easy to believe , because there in his writing a real risk taking, a baring of emotion, a desire to dig more deeply in itself to meet ” the storm , others words.”

By Georgia Makhlouf

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