The Committee: A Novel (Middle East Literature In Translation)

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9780815607267: The Committee: A Novel (Middle East Literature In Translation)
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Writing in a symbolic and minimalist style, author Sonallah Ibrahim has been called the Egyptian Kafka. This wry take on Kafka's The Trial revolves around its narrator's attempts to petition successfully the elusive ruling body of his country, known simply as the committee.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This spare, swift and ultimately chilling fantasy of interrogation and persecution in contemporary Egypt suggests that all of us are controlled by forces we often have no inkling of. The novel begins with a frustrating and unexplained interview conducted by a group known simply as the Committee. A young man is forced to belly dance, drop his pants and underwear (and worse), then to name the 20th century's most important achievement. He is also asked to write "a study on the greatest contemporary Arab luminary." The young intellectual struggles to find a subject for his project, but he soon settles on a doctor with a reputation for international philanthropy. After a year has passed, the Committee appears at his apartment to inspect his progress. Just as abruptly, they depart, leaving one of their members behind to monitor the narrator's every move, until finally he is driven to murder his observer. For this crime, the Committee sentences him to a bizarre punishment worthy of Dante. In keeping with Ibrahim's reputation as the "Egyptian Kafka," the Committee is anonymous, oppressive and symbolic of familiar social forces though recent world events will prompt readers to associate it with more specific clandestine organizations. Ibrahim (The Smell of It) creates a highly claustrophobic mood with elegant descriptions and the smooth incorporation of historical detail, bringing global depth to this work. As the dark narrative proceeds, its critique of broader social madness masquerading as civilization becomes clearer and clearer, making this a provocative addition to Ibrahim's respected oeuvre.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

An unnamed narrator is brought before a shadowy committee and asked, "By which momentous event among the wars, revolutions, or inventions will our century be remembered in the future?" After only a moment of consideration, he relates the history of Coca-Cola and its effect on the world in some detail. He is then asked to talk about the Great Pyramids. Finally, he is asked to provide "a study on the greatest contemporary Arab luminary." Plunging into deep research on a man known as "The Doctor," our narrator is visited at his home by the committee, who want him to change the subject of his research. When he hedges, one of the committee members stays with him to make sure he picks a new topic. Eventually, our narrator is driven to murder, and the committee condemns him to a bizarre sentence. This powerful, thought-provoking novel offers a fascinating glimpse of the mechanics of repression worldwide. Egyptian novelist Ibrahim, a major figure in the Arab literary world, has published many novels, short stories, and other works. Recommended to all readers who place Kafka's Trial on their list of favorites. Lisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9789774247163: The Committee

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ISBN 10:  9774247167 ISBN 13:  9789774247163
Publisher: American University in Cairo Press, 2002
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Book Description Syracuse University Press, United States, 2001. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Writing in a symbolic and minimalist style, author Sonallah Ibrahim has been called the Egyptian Kafka. This wry take on Kafka s The Trial revolves around its narrator s attempts to petition successfully the elusive ruling body of his country, known simply as the committee. Seller Inventory # AAS9780815607267

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