The Poetics of Absence

17th Sep

Author: Dr Rasool Mohamed Rasool (Iraq)

The absence loaded with silence is encircling us, but according to my nature in stubbornness, I continue my writing now), (the last women of   Linga: p. 120).

When we fix sight at the novel’s title (last women of Linga) the UAE writer   Lulua Al Mansouri, the history features jump to our minds.            ( Linga) is a  Place, a coastal city, but what magnifies the significant history   is the first part of the title (last women of Linga) filled with the smell of history even we thought we were going to a one of the novels beyond the historical  poetry or imagined historic novels, but the incursion in reading of  the novel takes you to the other fluorescence wafting the scent of history that  is listed within the orbits and tales mini-linked characters or actors involved in the events of the story.

Within the past few years, we knew about it Lulua Al Mansouri, a writer characterized by poetic and fruitful forms being waged between the meaning and the building. Also we have discovered a suck nectar poetic Language enriched by lexical meanings and connotations, that reflected generous tender impact on her experience as a novelist.    (Last woman in Linga), issued by the Department of Culture and Information in Sharjah in 2013.

  The novel had 261 pages, and included forty-seven narrative paragraphs flocked under five articulated headings: " shadow lung    ,"   "Muharraq roof,"   "The Cloak of Light,"   "The Stubborn Door ", and "The White Voice". That was preceded by a text giving manifested threshold editorial said: “To the bread princesses, to the ladies Rolla trees, I dedicate this vacancy of light where the other turn of  my cloak " (the novel: page5)a dedication   in which the adversarial clear recurring female vocabulary   "princesses" and "ladies" and " my cloak"; a dedication that  transmitting  suggestion, for (Lulua Al Mansouri) in her novel , and  choosing meaning  , and the language of poetry serene, when selected by vocalized "I dedicate this vacancy of light where the other turn of  my cloak", in which the is private vocalized "this vacancy of light", which suggests fiction by writing .

In her novel, the narrative did not use the same prose material, but came by multi-building. The writer preferred correspondence between some of the participants in the events of the novel formula, including the messages of the "Salem" to his cousin, " Myiad" at the city of Muharraq, starting from   4   April 1991, and thus from Iraq until  5 of July 2003, where   Salem works as reporter  journalist in Baghdad besieged by war, as well as  the letters of  " Myiad" to "Salem when she started sending from October and November 1991, as well as the letters  of " Youcef" , the husband of " Myiad"  who left her for seven years and fled away to America, in October 2005.

Besides  that Al Mansouri supports the texts of her narration by    memos   and dates, but notes geosynchronous with the course of events of the novel that reflect the actual action not in the past, a form   (Intertextuality) , as described by Al Mansouri to employ intertextuality    by investing some poetic texts of Rainer Rilke (novel: p. 205), and Garcia Lorca (novel: p. 246), and Ali Cherkaoui (novel: p. 99), and William Shakespeare in his masterpiece, "Midsummer Night's Dream", (the novel: p. 157) and Abu Ala Marri (novel: p. 261), which has become  the elements of support  to " Myiad" to continue building the dreams   paths for  "Myiad" the central narrator in the narrated story .

 The place space:  It is clear, that the novel events have passed in the nineties of the twentieth century and followed by years until 2006. But the writer is dating back to her childhood, and even to the roots of descendants through telling the life of her grandmother   (Razika) who   descend from the coastal city of Linga, and her husband (Alsardal Ibrahim). As well as through marriage story of Houria the mother of Myiad and daughter of Razika and (Rashid the young man),   adopted boy (Abdul-Karim al-Attar Ahwazi), and became even as his son and gave him Houria as wife when he became a strong man. As well as the life-story of al Attar Al  Ahwazi only himself and his daughter (Asia) who came together to (Julphar)  to settle there coming from their home Al Ahwaz in Iran.  The story telling dates back to the twentieth century decades borders only reference to "Sheikh Mohammed bin Qadeeb " one of the elders of  qwasim in the nineteenth century, and then telling the story of death  of the mothers heroine " Houria" .   " Myiad " remained with her sisters; "Suaad" and "Awatef" Mother orphans under the care of their grandmother the Lingian "Razika," and raising them too by "Asia" the  Ahwazi who was taking care of them.

The space place seems to me that the Lulua Al Mansouri has opened a new horizon in the UAE's novel when she expanded the spatial event geography to include the city (Muharraq) in Bahrain, and (Julphar) in the Emirates, and (the marsh) and (Isfahan) and ( Linga) in Iran , as well as   (Baghdad), and (America). Perhaps most importantly, in metioning  these places is to move alternating between Muharraq and Julphar and Baghdad through the orbits of tense as love, war and siege, death and demographic transition between communities and the consequent multiple cultures  all meeting together in the total place listed in the novel to gain - those cultures - new community identity.  

 This novel (the last women to Linga) seems to be the story of all figures participation in the events, but the narrator opted to float some ambiguity in the building of relationship between the novel, the title (last women to Linga) and the intended personality. You can look at that relationship that it refers to " Myiad". It can also point to   "Razika," especially that the narrator concluded her novel by the death of "Razika" in 2006, but we, and during the follow-up of narration we guess that the title is intended to " Myiad" as the last woman in   Linga, especially when she said by the end of the novel "Men grow up to Linga   make up one belonging to the roots of my name!" (Novel: p. 257).

It seems to me that Lulua Al Mansouri is  well aware of the importance float ambiguity in the title which opens wide  interpretation in reading, that reflects her  experience in writing poetry, but that does not mean that the big story in this novel is not the identity of her; on the contrary,  the story  in the novel remains centered on the character " Myiad", the girl of Julphar, where she had grown up and got training and  education,  the daughter of "Rashid" and " Houria"  who died of  a chronical disease,  to leave her daughter " Myiad" an orphan left to her grandmother, "Razika" and daughter of  Attar Al Ahwazi "Asia"  until the daughter  has married of "Youcef,"  and remained after years exile in America waiting  for eight years to see him back then she divorced him.

Within the course of that, " Myiad" a romantic relationship with her cousin, "Salem Abdul Rahman Al Kazem" Allnjawi, the nephew, "Razicka Ahmed Kazem" Allnjawi; "Salem", who worked as a reporter journalist in Iraq,   remained away in his relationship with  " Myiad" until the end of the novel  in a respect to her as the wife of "Youcef"  the husband who sent her a letter asking her to find another husband than  him, as he  admits  he was "just a dirty rat and afraid even from his shadow. "(The novel: p. 256), even though late she discovered that he was  " sterile, and kept that a secret not a matter for   gossip in the village.

(The Novel: p. 256).  The narration has reveals the secret for his trip to America to treat his sterility, and keep  " Myiad", the lady of forty-years old, non-married, as Salem was infected by blood acidity, and mislead by the unknown prophecy " (the novel: p. 257), and after the final departure her husband, " Youcef,” from her life; and death, "Razicka" in Muharraq,"Myiad remained” the last single woman among the wives of linga. 

 The poetry narration: The enormity of the psychological impact left by the destiny of "Myiad" in the reader, has coincided with the enclosure of stylistic formulas that revealed the aesthetic impact of the massive construction in poetic narrative experience. As previously indicated that writing poetry for Lulua Al Mansouri came to top impact in her first novel (The latest women in Linga); the script is full of tremendous vocalization, flowing narrative inspired high capillary attendance.

 The dedication of this vacancy of light", as an opening Al Mansouri   novelist work, it has alluded to her philosophy of writing. She returned and crystallized another aspect of that philosophy at    (Chapter III)  in the term of "cloak of light," saying  by the tongue "Myiad", the heroine of the novel: "The literature does not compromise with calm, but has appeasement, there is no doubt that it will become a normal, boring, such as our pale running!" (Novel: p. 101).

We can say that using the ordinary easy language contrary to Myiad,s life, is just an  emotional life is being invaded by stress and fatigue, existential boring, because of the deep loneliness, which requires lexical language reflecting the supernatural   poetic  pictures, in a spellbinding and breathtaking view to "show the world the influential   face  " as Jean Cohen says in his book ( The capillary structure of language) (novel: p. 215).

For this, she   began the suggestive stream of poetic title of the novel, then consolidated in the five titles that reflected their internal or sub-chapters of the novel. But all this was not only the first rain; Al  Mansouri was taken out as a narrative illusion instead of the well-known meanings  in her poetic construction referring to roots of Salem(The Novel page 102) and your roots Salem (page 122). That was the signatures of mutual letters between Myiad and Salem to be the substitutes of common terms like- sweet heart Salem or Myiad or other common expressions.

 Avoiding repeating usual lexical terms reveals the nature of the relationship between   "Salem" and “Myiad". The latter is married to " Yousef" and waiting for his return from America, and her feelings   towards him as an absent father of her life, " The Annual absence to her mother's house "(The novel: p. 217), that looks like the disappearance of that man  " leaning on his stick and his sadness, and walking to the remote paths ... "(The Novel: p. 227), also looks like the absence of the deceased mother’s in early life for her daughters. Therefore, so   "Salem" is no more a lover, but the near best friend who mentions " Myiad"   through vocalized "roots" which often intentionally repeated   Thus, this hint signifies the meanings of human communication in its kinship image at the beginning of the novel, but that will change to continue as a love relation, when she said that he is her Salem, during a phone call: "I love you .. I love you very much Myiad" (the novel: p. 238).

The poetic language often plays on stylistic hidden meaning in order to revive the suggested significance, and a description of “Razicka" as "a woman of Henna and flour and margarine and dates; a woman from the sun and rifles and firewood, and the memory of water jars overheads" (novel: p. 8), a description that can be summed up on its own, such as lexical that this grandmother is a laboring woman or Bedouin woman or a village woman.

 For Father, we read: "at the head of the harbor, scrawny brown boy  , creep bewildered in his steps, asking   traders for any available job, sits at the bank fed with refraction cowardice and hunger" (novel: p. 30). And referred to (Referred to) we refer her to “Rashid" who will become a parent  " Myiad", and husband  for " Houria" daughter of "Razicka." As well as we read: "When the Gulf through windows appeared wearing the black after usurpation, and poured nearly a million tons of oil, engulfed forcibly in his stomach" (the novel: p. 60). The reference the usurpation means Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, and the burning of oil scattered in the Gulf waters.

Elsewhere, we read the following: "Before Al Muharraq takes out her blue-wrapped mask such as the renaissance before the Sun rise” (the novel: p. 29), a reference to the dawn of the morning. The narrative of the novel includes many special terms as places are listed, as well as images of nature, especially with regard to the city, "Isfahan" visited by the writer when she was a baby girl with her mother for medical   treatment.

As well as going deep in the text of the novel, we discover the poetry spirit flowing in multiple images, according to circumstances,    especially with regard to  " Myiad " existence talking about: " The visit sudden viscous red liquid startles every month, and troubles the scheduling days "(the novel: p. 23), and reference here to the monthly menstruation to "  Myiad ".