Welcome to Asia Publishers
Home | E-mail | Editorial Room
English

04/23 2021년 심훈문학상 ...
08/21 2017 심훈문학대상, ...
05/24 2017 제21회 심훈...
06/10 2015 심훈문학상 (계...
05/27 2015 아시아 도서목...


Book Reveals Harsh Reality of Arabic Women[THEKOREATIMES2008.11.28]
 Asia  | 2008·12·04 10:41 | HIT : 5,095 | VOTE : 870 |
Book Reveals Harsh Reality of Arabic Women  

Salwa Bakr, one of Egypt’s most respected novelists and short story writers / Yonhap

Arabic modern literature has been rarely introduced into Korean publications due to the lack of common values and its exotic background.

But ``The Golden Chariot,'' which has been recently published in Korean translated directly from Arabic, is drawing attention as it focuses on the Arabic women's lives under a male-dominated society.

Written by Salwa Bakr, one of Egypt's most respected novelists and short story writers, the book uses Arabic literary values weaving tales together into a contemporary ``Arabian Nights.''

Bakr, also known as a feminist, who visited Korea to attend a Korea-Arab literature forum from Nov. 17 to 18, said that she wants to

The Golden Chariot Doesn’t Ascend to Heavens Salwa Bakr; Translated by Kim Neung-woo from Arabic to Korean; Asia: 333 pp., 11,000 won
shed light on the male-dominated social system through literature.

``Women's stories in my novel are not only for the Arabic society but also for other societies as almost every civilization has grown based on the male-oriented system in agrarian culture. Particularly, the male-dominated system is prevalent in Asian countries. So I think that can win sympathy from my novel,'' Bakr said.

The novel revolves around 15 women in a prison in Egypt and the motives behind the crimes.

An Alexandrian woman Aziza is serving a life sentence for the murder of her mother's husband. She killed the man who seduced her, after her mother's death when he took another woman as his new wife despite his promises to Aziza.

In her cell, Aziza imagines a golden chariot to take her to heaven so that her wishes and dreams come true. But she decides to take other fellow prisoners who deserve a free ride to paradise. Aziza, who is described as a woman obsessed with such an illusion, listens to the stories of her fellow prisoners to select them to ride in the chariot.

Her fellow prisoners were imprisoned for various crimes, including murder, theft, and drug-dealing. Um Ragab is behind bars as she resorted to pick pocketing to support her children. Hana killed her husband one night by leaving on the gas after suffering abuse from him for 45 years as a sexual slave and domestic help. Azima, depicted as a tall woman, became a naddaba (professional mourner), then a vocal performer for religious celebrations and finally a popular singer. She killed her abusive lover. Huda is the 16-year-old youngest prisoner; Zaynab Mansur is well educated; while Shafiqa had been a beggar. Um al-Khayr was a peasant likened to a Pharaonic goddess, and Gamalat assaulted her sister's would-be boyfriend. Various characters in the prison who have suffered from harsh reality pushing them to have no choice but to commit a crime are all to get on board Aziza's golden chariot to the heavens.

The novel focuses on how the women came to the prisons and the salvation they need, symbolized by the golden chariot.

But Aziza dies in the last chapter just as she prepares for the chariot's departure. As the novel's title suggests, the chariot does not ascend to the heavens.

It means rather than salvation through a golden chariot to the heavens imagined by Aziza in prison, the author suggests real-life salvation comes from the social and political change begun by the women themselves.

Bakr's is a sarcastic and cynical look at how women of different backgrounds ― some guilty and some innocent ― get together in prison. It is in line with her writing, which mostly depicts life at the grassroots of Egypt's culture, urging women to liberate themselves from poverty and inequality.

Through The Golden Chariot, readers are able to see the injustices of a transitional Arabic society. At the same time, it offers a glimpse of their yearning and longing for a better life. The author also depicts the difficulty that these societies face as honest means rarely solve anything.

Bakr has been concerned about repression in all spheres of Egyptian life and in particular the political sphere. However, she believes that both men and women can be liberated through the contribution of women's writing.

She says that Arabic is a male-dominated language and that ``women should create a language for themselves.''

She does not believe in conflict between men and women, but rather sees both genders as victims of traditional society.

Born in Cairo in 1949, the daughter of a railway worker, Bakr took a degree in business management in 1972 at Ain Shams University and in literary criticism in 1976 before embarking on a career in journalism.

Her short stories began to appear in the press during the 1970s and her work has been met with much critical acclaim.

By Chung Ah-young (chungay@koreatimes.co.kr)
Staff Reporter
  
475   터키여행? 소설로 떠나요 [스포츠한국(한국일보) 2011.09.01]  ASIA 11·09·02 5606
474   소통하는 아시아 꿈꾸다…계간 ‘아시아’ 창간 (경향신문 2006.5.24)  Asia 06·05·24 5586
473   아시아로 향하는 ‘민족문학’ 행보 (한겨레신문 06.6.1)  Asia 06·06·11 5554
472   방현석주간 하노이대 특강 (한겨레 06.5.30)  Asia 06·06·01 5523
471   각국에서 엄선된 작품이 뿜어내는 폭발적 활력(오마이뉴스 06.5.30)  Asia 06·06·01 5425
470   예술로 통하는 아시아 (아르코 06년 5월 4주)  Asia 06·06·01 5407
469   [새 책] 만 마디를 대신하는 말 한 마디(류전윈 장편소설·김태성 옮김) 外(20150605)  ASIA 15·06·15 5286
468   문학을 사랑하는 사람들에게 힘을 보태주었다 (뉴스메이커 06.6.6)  Asia 06·06·22 5279
467   아시아 문예계간지 'ASIA' 창간 (세계일보 2006.5.20)  Asia 06·05·21 5219
466   하루키 소설은 세계문학 아니다[연합뉴스2007.08.20]  Asia 07·08·23 5121
465   “아시아 문학을 세계로…” 한국이 이끈다 (문화일보 2006.5.22)  Asia 06·05·22 5114
464   "아시아의 눈으로 아시아를 읽자" (연합뉴스 2006.5.16)  Asia 06·05·21 5104
463   CBS 라디오 시사자키 오늘과 내일(06.5.27)  Asia 06·07·19 5103
462   베트남의 신예작가 응웬옥뜨[연합뉴스2007.10.02]  Asia 07·10·03 5102
  Book Reveals Harsh Reality of Arabic Women[THEKOREATIMES2008.11.28]  Asia 08·12·04 5095
460   interesting and thought-provoking writing[KoreaTimes2006.03.02]  Asia 07·03·05 5089
459    고통과 절망의 흐느낌, 희망의 거름으로[한국일보 06.09.22]  Asia 06·09·25 5083
458   Nguyen visited Korea [The Korea Herald2007.10.05]  Asia 07·10·05 5078
457   팔레스타인 민족시인 마흐무드 다르위쉬[세계일보2007.11.07]  Asia 07·11·08 5064
456   아시아적 상상력에 대한 깊이 있는 통찰 (레디앙 06.5.26)  Asia 06·06·01 5061
[1] 2 [3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]..[25]
Copyright 1999-2022 Zeroboard / skin by GGAMBO
(주)아시아 경기도 파주시 회동길 445 / 전화 031-944-5058 / 팩스 031-955-7956 / 전자우편 bookasia@hanmail.net
Copyright (C) since 2006 Asia Publishers Inc. All rights reserved.