Sitt Marie Rose
Feminine symbols tear at them with their claws. For seven thousand years the goddess Isis has given birth without there being a father. Nothing survives the passing of these divinities: And you expect Marie- Rose to hold her head up to this procession of terrible women, and find grace in the eyes of the males of this country?
She had met him in the narrow streets of the Sabra camp the day she went to the U. She was trying to find her way around, casually looking at the children playing, the multi-colored laundry hung out on lines, the little houses with the colored walls, the old people looking out windows that had neither bars nor glass.
He was returning from the dispensary where he had been the doctor on duty that day. She spoke first, in a severe tone as though to insure that he would not think she was being forward. He understood, smiled, and responded. He sat down with her and they chatted. He was happy to hear her speak of the Palestinians with such affection. Outside, the movie theaters were all in a row. Groups of young people, mostly office workers, salesgirls, students on holiday, male hairdressers, and shirt salesmen passed and re-passed, zigzagging through the cars which also loitered there.
Everyone moved in slow-motion because no one wanted time to pass. If then one added every second lived by each of these people, lived by each of us, by all the people of the world, at this precise moment, it would make all the eternity of Time. She told herself that she had just discovered a new dimension. She had just been thinking these things sipping her lemonade through her straw as he came up and sat down before her. He had asked her if she was worried about something.
She laughed and began to tell him how time was as infinite ass space and as mysterious, using her hands to draw invisible lines and spheres. He was a bit stunned, but very amused. She asked herself if she were not perhaps prettier than she had thought. She saw him again at the funeral of Ghassan Kanafani who was killed starting his car by a bomb designated for him.
She walked behind the coffin with the other women dressed in black. He walked tranquilly before, in the group of the militants of the Resistance, their eyes red, their lops tired, their hands open. She saw how haggard these people were, and understood the nature of their new wandering. These were no long nomads comforted by their tribe and their herd, but a people perpetually pursued, as if by some cosmic agreement, by both an outer and inner enemy, by their self-proclaimed brothers as well as the adversary, without a single square meter of certainty or security under their feet.
They would have to forge a nation in the midst of total hostility. They breathed air laced with betrayal. Marie-Rose and the young doctor found themselves together before the coffin of the assassinated militant poet. Together, they left the little cemetery of exile, in the disorder of the crowd. For a few steps they walked hand in hand, but they became embarrassed and separated. He followed and finally caught up with her, and, as the hot afternoon waned, they walked without a ward under a threatening sky, through the streets to the both lively and sad Zarif quarters where she had lived with her children since leaving her husband.
They were spending a week of vacation with their paternal aunt. He simply wanted to be completely with her, and she with him. The news of her capture had the impact of a submarine missile in the camps. He took the time out to cry. He discarded all that he knew. He forgot his name and his age.
He was reduced to nothing but the consciousness of his own pain. He went out into the street, avoiding the eyes of all who knew him, to walk among the garbage cans at the feet of some stunted pines that were even sicker than his patients, and for which he felt a strange affinity.
Jul 15, Calzean rated it liked it Shelves: I found this a challenging, albeit a short, read. Chapters are short, sometimes a mere paragraph. Each chapter is narrated from one of a number of characters - Sitt Marie Rose a Christian woman who favours no side, one of a group of Lebanese men who capture her and must pass judgement on her fate or a bystander. The chaotic structure matches the Lebanese Civil War where who is fighting for what is a matter of personnel opinion.
Much of the dialogue takes place in a school for deaf-mutes, a sensib I found this a challenging, albeit a short, read.
Sitt Marie Rose by Etel Adnan | LibraryThing
Much of the dialogue takes place in a school for deaf-mutes, a sensible parable for those who stand by and pretend nothing is happening. Apr 18, Ellen rated it really liked it. This is a beautifully written take on the senseless, chaotic and incredibly violent war in Lebanon. What surprised me was the author's ability to to make such a complex piece of history read so simply. The similarities between this story and Syria's current conflict are a terrible reminder of why this book matters.
I read the book, not the ebook, but that edition is not available to post. Beautifully written and wrenching novel based on the true story of a woman in Beirut during the Civil War who ran a school for deaf children. She was kidnapped at a checkpoint, interrogated and killed because of her work with Palestinian refugees and her commitment to social, rather than tribal, justice. May 08, Sarah Harakeh rated it really liked it. I felt shocked after reading the first few pages because of the amount of racism displayed. But then after reading more pages, I figured how the style of the book works and understood that it is not actually racist.
It is just too much realistic, especially for a Lebanese, to accept it when we are trying to forget a cruel difficult part of our history. The book tells a true story that happened in the civil war, and unfortunately the cruel unbelievable events and racism in the book actually happe I felt shocked after reading the first few pages because of the amount of racism displayed.
The book tells a true story that happened in the civil war, and unfortunately the cruel unbelievable events and racism in the book actually happened in the past. Unfortunately, some of this racism still live till our present days, no matter how much we try to live in denial towards this sensitive subject. Each character in the book represents actual personalities of people who lived during the civil war in Lebanon.
This book is very powerful and essential to be read, for to get over our past we have to first accept it. Jun 11, Amira Hanafi added it. Shifting, multiple points of view give different perspectives on war in lebanon, late s, all distinctly colored by adnan's fierce anger at religious justifications for brutal violence.
Sep 30, Kate rated it really liked it. Powerful anti-war book by a Lebanese writer. If I were putting together a war literature class, I would include this on my syllabus for sure. Oct 26, Jean Grant rated it it was amazing. I read this novel about five years ago and still remember how visceral the experience was. Etel Adnan is a brilliant writer. Nov 09, Chris added it. This short book poetically tells of the horrors of the religious differences that tore apart the city and people of Lebanon in the s.
Sitt Marie Rose
It is remarkable how there are no villians and no victims, only people innocent, forced to witness, or misguided, destroying others and themselves with their refusal to broaden their thinking. Dec 12, Gabriella Anton rated it it was amazing. I begin to wish that two rockets would pass through my head leaving me intact I am absolute power.
I am absolute efficiency. I've reduced all truths to a formula of life and death. They remained clasped in one another and I could no longer distinguish my fingers from his, or his breath from mine, and he put his mouth in my hair, and left running. Its only in it, in its immemorial blue, that the blood of all is finally mixed. What can one to in this black Feast but dance? The deaf-mutes rise, and moved in the rhythm of falling bombs their bodies receive from the trembling earth, they begin to dance. Jan 30, Rachel rated it really liked it.
Possibly one of the most powerful, passionate works of fiction I have ever read. Adnan's Sitt Marie Rose is both an attack and an interrogation of her own history, her own identity, just as much as it is an attack on the tribal and religious justifications for the violence and terror of the civil war in Lebanon.
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She rails against an Islam that forgets "the divine mercy affirmed by the first verse of the Koran I don't want to ruin it for you, but this is ragingly feminist and intellectually pacifist all at once, and I highly recommend it! Jun 16, Sara rated it liked it Shelves: Set during the Lebanese Civil War, the story tells of a woman who abducted and killed. Each chapter changes narrators, often without informing you who is speaking, and comes across as stream-of-thought style with the events around them.
I found this chaotic style exemplified the chaotic nature of the world around the characters. Oct 14, Feras Hilal rated it it was amazing. Heartbreaking and gut-wrenching, every line in this book packs a punch of emotion. It also shows the misogyny that underlies war, the khawaja complex white man complex that ensnares so many Arabs. I appreciated how the story gets told from different narrators victims and perpetuators and how she includes the deaf and mute schoolchildren who Marie Rose cared for and took under her wing in the story. Nov 28, Krishna Dwarampudi rated it really liked it.
There are flaws to this book like the grammar and style, but there are lessons to be learned here. The first is how one can write a narrative in a cyclic fashion to illustrate different viewpoints. But narration aside, there are deeper elements one can learn from such as the danger of a tribe mentality and how it feeds a hierarchy where any deviation is crushed. Following the lines of tribe mentality, the book teaches how faith can be warped into serving violence.
And finally, the book teaches ho There are flaws to this book like the grammar and style, but there are lessons to be learned here. This point is illustrated with the portrayal of the Crusades as put on by the French priests, invigorating the young Lebanese men to reject their cultural heritage and yearn for the influence of the West. Another major theme is the cause of the Lebanese Civil War. Sitt Marie Rose argues that the outbreak of the war is the fault of both the Christians and the Muslims.
Mounir however claims that he and the Chabab are fighting to reinforce the state in a conflict that will end with a clear victor and a clearly vanquished enemy. Confounding all of this is the concept that a single idea can be put forward as speaking for all of the people in Lebanon. The above description of how the novel is split into two Times, one of which is further subdivided shows how, at an organizational level, the novel is an experiment of presentation and how a novel can be presented.
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