Faisal Ghamry: The human wound speaks


The narration varies in the new collection of stories by the Saudi writer Faisal Ghamry (1975) recently issued by Dar Nawfal under the title “Mahatat”. We see him in some stories, ranging from a clever description of provocative life situations to an intense narration that ends at an amazing irony, so he makes us contemplate these short stories that the writer called short stories and very short stories as an indication of the possibility of another name for them. We are looking for a meaning hidden within them, so the stories seem like stations to watch different life situations that may sometimes escape from the simplicity and monotony of what awakens in the mind a hidden meaning that the writer does not say directly. The short story appears to be an attempt to capture contradictory and interwoven moments. Most of the stories summarize problematic situations or discuss social issues, but she undoubtedly sheds light on them and takes them seriously and attentively. We see the writer here preoccupied with the art of narration and his ability to illuminate the details of life without falling into the trap of simulating reality, so the moments he talks about seem close to life and strange to it at the same time.

And as the Argentine writer Ricardo Bigilia says about the art of the short story that it is a tale that includes a “secret tale”. Stories here are natural states that occur in life, but there is an artistic note about them and putting them in another frame by choosing a surprising scene or a sentence that changes our view of it, and we feel that There is another secret tale inside. The book begins with the story of “The End” from the first section, which are short stories, as if it were a deliberate invitation to contemplate the end station since the beginning of the book. We watch how the story ends with the death of the girl who wanted the train to take her to the end of the station at the cemetery, and she dies. The paradox appears to be an agreement between what you say and the truth, so the language here seems to be a game to approach the end and listen to it deeply. The same thing we feel as we read the story of “crying”, as it seems that there is some confusion about the neighbor’s issue for the narrator to hear a crying voice in an apartment even though the family is not with him. We feel that the story wants to portray a strange and incomprehensible situation where the sound of crying that aspires to be an invitation to think about what is behind the lines and behind the story. Therefore, short stories sometimes come indirectly and carry a surprising meaning. But the narration also changes sometimes to fall into the directness that does not try to say anything but to reflect what is happening in life, such as the patient who takes a “Valium” pill in the story of “Valium”, in order to remove her lover from her mind, or that sewing in which her parents died and did not marry, She closes the door and begins kissing the “mannequin.” There is undoubtedly an important note of the process of life, of states of sadness, depression and pain, but it seems in some stories very normal and in others strange. The writer aspires to his short story like a huge mirror of thorny and bewildering human details, and he was sometimes able to reach that.
But, as he says in one of his very short stories, which do not exceed a few lines and sometimes one line, “because he is good at reading faces, he has become detested of mirrors.” The writer here is fluent in reading life scenes to write them intensely, ridding them of the appendices of fillers and explanation to escape from the exaggeration and the great narration. We see that in very short stories, he tries to pick up the meaning quickly before he escapes, so he sometimes writes it in one sentence whose title is the meaning as he says in the story of “Deafness”: “The eagerness of his words was greater than the eagerness of her ears, so she knew nothing.” Here, the sentence tries not to shorten it only, but to convince us that the end or the conclusion is the story, and the meaning is the story itself.
And because the human condition is the heroine, we do not fall into a state of sympathy with the characters. The writer here narrates many painful and contradictory cases, but we do not feel pity or feel what the characters think because the goal may be directed towards the meaning that the writer wants him to win. We see, for example, the woman who committed suicide, the rebel, and the man in love, without entering into his feelings. Even when he tells a story about his loss of his father, he describes how he yearns to hear the answer, “Good morning,” when he says to his father’s room after his death, “Good morning,” so the sadness here seems invisible and we feel it in real and surprising situations.
The narrator also varies in stories. Sometimes the writer chooses an absent narrator, and sometimes he speaks in the ego conscience. This diversification makes the story lessen the burden of talking about its characters from a distance, so it gets closer to it to narrate things from its point of view, so it relaxes more. Here we notice the writer’s desire to play on the conscience of the speaker so that we feel the intimate moments he speaks about.

Most of the stories are summarized as problematic or discussing social issues

There is also an approach to social contradiction and religious hypocrisy in an artistic way, in which the writer tries to suggest it and not say it. Here the story appears to be an attempt to put “Zoom” on the contradiction in a situation, as he says in the story “Cover” by a woman on the authority of her father, who refuses to let her sisters come out without a face cover. But he will strike them if he is drunk, so we feel that brief that says everything about hypocrisy in very small details of life.
As the poet Antonio Porcia said in his book “Voices”: “Only the wound speaks its own language.” The writer tries to make the human wound speak, even in the tongue of the characters, about his truth in stories that try to erase themselves to reach the height of the experience. “Mahatat” is a group of stories that wants to test that the story is like the card that a passenger holds on a train in the story “Iskal” and thinks that he is reading the name of a person he knows, but he finds it empty from both sides. It is the suggestive ability to say many things with a few words or other words.

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