Qattan Foundation organises the launch of ‘A Translation of Bach’ and ‘Cliché and Dystopia’
Ramallah – (A.M. Qattan Foundation):
The Culture and Arts Programme (CAP) of the A.M. Qattan Foundation, in collaboration with the Mahmoud Darwish Museum, organised the launch of the novel “Cliché and Dystopia” by Hakim Khater on the 27th of March, and the launch of the poetry collection “A Translation of Bach” by Bader Othman on the 5th of March.
The writer and journalist Nida’ Oweineh presented the novel “Cliché and Dystopia” saying, ‘Hakim Khater begins with thoroughly narrating and describing successive scenes which surpass what meets the eye in everyday life. These scenes we could see in any cheap-production film, or in magazines we buy in the street, but the only difference is that Hakim took those scenes and turned them into an intertwining plot that reveals pain and ugliness invisible to the naked idea in the streets.’
Khater read passages of his novel to the audience before he responded to questions from Oweinah and the audience with shocking honesty and openness.
At the beginning of the same month, the poet Bader Othman launched his poetry collection “A Translation of Bach”; an artistic and spatial dialogue with the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach based on a historical study and knowledge of the worlds Bach, in an attempt to touch on what this musical composer and church organist produced, especially in light of his historical and spatial context and the concerns that made Bach a combination of his evangelical experience and his portrayal as “non-believer”. According to Othman, Bach found himself working as a musician in churches for purely economic reasons.
In his presentation, novelist Akram Musallam, a member of judges committee said, ‘This adventurous work impersonates the musician Bach, and turns his personal world and his musical “perfection” into a language; a distilled, highly metaphorical language. A linguistic mirror of soulful music disrupted and connected by a string, in which the heart writes without an intermediary. It is an adventurous work because choice is rugged.’ Musallam also wonders ‘how will the young poet manage his adventure in this region?’
According to Musallam ‘the poet succeeded in combining the ecstasy of spirituality with the ecstasy of music, but the text does not completely escape allusions to religious symbols.’
The poet Fares Saba’na read a literary testimony about the collection written by Dr Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh, ‘Othman’s experience in “A Translation of Bach” is more than a ’proximity’ between poetry and music, and less than a ‘dialogue’. Perhaps it is better described as a “poetic interweaving”.
The two literary works were praised with a recommendation for publication by the judges committee of the Young Writer Award of 2017, organised annually by the Culture and Arts Programme of the A.M. Qattan Foundation since 2000. The award grants a first prize in the field of novel, poetry and short story, in addition to the publication of winning literary works and those recommended by the committee.