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Syrisk kortprosa

Kortprosaheltinden over dem alle, Lydia Davis, har skrevet et forord (aftrykt på The New Yorkers hjemmeside) til et udvalg af den syriske forfatter Osama Alomars hjemmeside, hvor hun også lige inkluderer et hurtigt kortrposa-litteraturhistorie – alle dem her skal man læse (et par af dem skal den alvidende redaktør også se at få læst):

The other tradition to which Alomar most obviously belongs—in this case by choice—is that of the very short story. But this tradition is complicated, for within this genre, we have different traditions and different types. While Alomar is working within his own particular cultural heritage, he is of course also sharing in a wider international legacy of the very short story or prose poem, the more contemporary part of which spans more than a century at least: from the prose poems of Baudelaire in the mid-nineteenth century, to those of Francis Ponge and other French poets of the twentieth; the lyrical and nostalgic real-life stories of the early twentieth-century Viennese Peter Altenberg and the quirky numbered “handbook” instructions of the Bohemian / Czech Dadaist and pacifist Walter Serner; the Austrian Thomas Bernhard’s grim and syntactically complex paragraph-long stories in The Voice Imitator; the self-denigrating, anti-climactic, quarrelsome tales of the Soviet Daniil Kharms; the lyrical autobiographical sequence of the Spanish Luis Cernuda; and the pointed philosophical narratives of the contemporary Dutch writer A. L. Snijders (whose term, zkv or zeer korte verhaal—very short story— means exactly the same thing as Alomar’s al-qisa al-qasira jiddan); to mention only a few.

- og her er tre af Alomars kortkorthistorier:

Before leaving for work I tied my tongue into a great tie. My colleagues congratulated me on my elegance. They praised me to our boss, who expressed admiration and ordered all employees to follow my example!

A DROPA drop of dried blood on the ground looked at the setting sun with an expression full of sadness. “Why do people look at that giant drop with happiness while they look at me with fear?” she asked in a weak voice. “We share the same roots!”

A reply came to her from somewhere unknown: “Because you are fixed to the surface of the earth and she is fixed to the sky.”

EXPIRED EYESClimbing up the steps to his home one night after working late, he staggered back and forth from exhaustion, carrying paper bags filled with fruits and vegetables. After entering the apartment and putting down the bags, he opened the door to his bedroom and was shocked to see his wife making love with insane ardor to a friend of their son’s. She glanced up at him, deliberately flashing him looks of malicious gloating. He rubbed his eyes hard and opened them to see her humbly performing her prayers. He rubbed his eyes again, this time with furious intensity, and opened them to see her dancing completely naked in front of the window that faced the house of their young neighbor. He closed his eyes in horror, rubbing them with two hands like tornadoes. When he opened them again, his wife was there, inviting him to share breakfast in bed, her eyes brimming with love and tenderness.

He knew then that the allotted time of his eyes had expired. He visited the most famous eye doctor in the country to have two new ones implanted—specially ordered fresh from the factory. And from that day on, he saw his wife exactly as he desired.

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Forside og billedkunst i Hvedekorn 1 2017: Johanne Østervang. Hvedekorn er støttet af Statens Kunstfond hvedekorn.dk af One Million Monkeys