Monday, January 14, 2008

The Scoundrel's Plea

Two little poems by Al-Ma'arri.

They say Time is soon to die
that the days are short of breath.
They lie.
I came across this in Amin Maalouf's Balthasar's Odyssey.
The Scoundrel's Plea
Make not, when you work a deed of shame,
The scoundrel's plea, "My forbears did the same".
This, with many others, is here.

Thanks to Hazar.


Hazar Nesimi said...

I could not get through Amin Maalouf book although the beginning looked promising - Unknown Name of God. It was one of those "He said, she replied" books i could not read. DId you like it?

NoolaBeulah said...

Yes, I did. I've read several by him now.

It's strange that you don't like his style; I find it one of the most attractive qualities of the books. Most of his books are historical 'romances'. I use this word instead of 'novel' because their style suggests something of an oral (almost folk) tale, like the stories of 1001 Nights. It's a very transparent style, one that seems to concern itself only with the surface, with what happened and what people said and did. Yet I find it very suggestive of other places and times, and yet at the same time, of the normality of the depicted world. He also manages to work the characters into situations of great emotional conflict where what is suggested is far greater than what is stated. However, what is most unlike a romance is that he doesn't resolve his stories neatly; the endings are often 'shabby', without all the threads tidily snipped and packed away. They're very 'adult' endings.

Hazar Nesimi said...

I am spoiled by Umberto Eco and his romances I guess. I hindsight I should have probably finished it and probably will if I still have it.

Riri said...

what are these obscure author names you're firing at us left right and centre Nazim? Must be the lasting influence of the Cafe Philo you used to attend. They really spoilt your brain eh.

As for Noolabeulah, it seems he is going through one of his dry phases again. God help him and bless him with some rainfall of creative ideas to resuscitate this blog.