The Mental Toboo…
It’s an old post from the other blog… I thought I should post it here as well!
The Mental Taboo: Salman Rushdie and the Truth Within Literature.
Author: Sadeq Jalal al-Azm
Published: Riad El-Rayess Books Ltd. – London, UK – 1992
A book u can’t really talk about… u’ll have to read it.
It’s a book that speaks straight to the core of ur ALU [Arithmetic and Logic Unit], computer geeks are well familiar with the concept.
It’s one of the few arabic books [and Sadeq J. Azm is definitley of the few arab elites that maintain a scientific and professional writing] that speaks directly to ur brain cells without the least attempt to manipulate any feelings, for me, such a fact is credited a lot…
The Book is split into 2 halfs, The first is basically a collection of articles, papers and studies that he had already published through the years, a huge part of it is dedicated to the “Orientalism Issue”, which includes his critique of Edward Said’s “Orientalism” and a couple of articles he’d exchanged with Adonis in that period concerning this same issue.
The other part is titled “In Some of our Cultural and Political Issues”, that’s my personal favorite part of the book, the part where u get stunned by th logic power of al-Azm and by the total ignorance spread through the arab world towards important issues like the american decision making process, The questions of Beirut 1982 and a WONDERFUL article about underdevelopment in a general human look…
The other half of the book is fully dedicated to the controversial Salman Rushdie issue, his “Ayat Shaytanieh” novel, an issue that was one of the world’s main debates at the time..
And through this chapter u come to realize how low and shallow arab critiques have come, [Although I DID like the novel, but this has nothing to do with that], he raises questions like, most of arab critiques aknowledge that they’re critising a book they’ve nevr read nor planning to!!
a lot of questions raised on the level of our so-called intellectuals, and the level of our acceptance to other ideas…
And at the end of the book, u get a glimpse of joy to see a Syrian Declaration “In Defense of the writer’s right to live” in response to the Salman Rushdie Death Penalty conviction in Tehran 1989.
Names include, Adulrahman Munief, Saad Allah Wannous, Sadeq Jalal al-Azm, Michelle Kelo, Antoine Maqdesy, Mamdouh Odwan, al-Tayyeb Tezini, Haidar Haidar… and others..
It’s a must read book… It’s a book of common sense. u don’t have to agree with what’s written in it, but u must definitley read it.