(Read) [The Arab Apocalypse]
Etel Adnan ´ 9 Free readO caravans of hunger and curiosity O passion for SpaceThey killed the dream with an axe with an axe with an axeThe BIG RED SPOT of Jupiter is a storm Matter is desperateA pink dove shattered a human facelightning rod going to the heart of a lemonthe sun has eaten its children I myself was a morning blessed with blissWhat to do with the sun when it hides behind tear gasDrink it Drink it in little sips so that tenderness resembles hellI would love to place ou in the heart of the night make the stone of our belly surge On the brink of
is the way one describe this text To be perfectly honest if I were not obliged to continue reading this work I would have almost certainly stopped after the very first page if I d even made it that very first page if I d even made it that upon delving further into Adnan s glyph poetry it becomes clear that the author does in fact have an incredible grasp on language and the acute knowledge of what imagery will most affect her readers I found myself almost lulled into a sense of comfort by the nonsensical passage of words and symbols on the page practically glossing over them when all at once I would read a line so startling I was forced to pause and imagine in my own mental fabrication what exactly those scenes would look like It was exactly those soft explosions catching my attention that caused me to become engrossed in deriving a singular distinct plot line and conseuently caused me to grow and lost with each page As mentioned earlier Adnan s command of the language makes me wonder whether the text would have been effective as a piece of prose et the schizophrenic way the glyphs appear slapped on the page like tiny disruptive bombs evoked for me a sense of war on the reader It was utter chaos and when the dust cleared for a few moments at a time it was only to reveal a harrowing scene of human suffering just long enough before jumping right back in to the unintelligible The poetry is of course unconventional but to a surprising extent the author does manage to evoke the conventional visceral reaction that is to be expected from individuals reading about war Were it not for the sickeningly memorable lines such as the sun cut their toes and told the Palestinians this is our dinner 65 and We are all future corpses 64 this book just might have ended up back at the bookstore The Arab Apocalypse is a collection of 59 poems that center around the sun and the Lebanese Civil War The lines are highly fragmented in terms of spacing the use of glyphs and subject changes that are not marked by traditional punctuation As Etel Adnan is also a visual artist I think that one of the most important parts of the book is the sense of subjectivity that each reader brings to it The text itself is non linear and it essentially jumps from one image to the next with of a goal to create impressions than describe specific events sun spinning top incredibly spinning instead of our eyes 39 Interspersed throughout the text are often seemingly random spaces which are sometimes accompanied by glyphs The glyphs themselves are varied some of them are ancient symbols that have been used throughout various cultures while others seem to be symbols that Adnan created Both of those elements lend to a very open interpretation of the text as a whole As a commentary on the Lebanese Civil War I did not get much from the text because of its non linear nature However as an exercise in form and structure the poems were interesting and thought provoking I think that most writers want to guide readers thinking than Adnan does in Arab Apocalypse especially about such a serious topic But in ceding control the book allows the reader to make their own meaning and interact with the images in the way that will make the most impact for them My pain is mounting the sun like a racing horse The field is infiniteI admit I really hated the poem at first But when I read the whole thing I knew what an idiot I was This poem was a BIG MOMENT OF EPIPHANY for me A blue acetylene sun died of frost in the presence of a palm treeIn death one plus one makes threeThis is a poem that shows ou the brutality of fact and the cruelty of reality It WAKES YOU UP It is just like Eliot s human voices which wake Awakenings you up to face the fact that we drown Etel Adnan offers no hope in her poem she only foresees destruction and a horrible overwhelming night So make sure thatou wake up and become a candle amidst all that cold and all that dark In the night in the night we shall find knowledge love and peace Etel Adnan s The Arab Apocalypse is a book of poetry that takes the reader through the ravages of the Lebanon Civil War Most notable to reader. Poetry Middle Eastern studies Translated from the French by the author Reprinted with a new foreward by Jalal Toufic This book a masterwork of the dislocations and radiant outcries of the Arab world reaffirms Etel Adnan who authored the great poem Jebu as among the foremost poets of the French Language THE ARAB APOCALYPSE is an immersion into a rapture of chaos clawing towards destiny and nullified hope refusing its zero Is is also the journey of soul through the cartography of a global immediacy ra.Unintelligible Is The Way One
S of The Arab Apocalypse is Adnan s incorporation OF PICTOGRAPHS THAT SIGNAL READER S DEEP ALARM pictographs that signal to reader s deep alarm experience a deep sense of alienation upon attempting to construct a system of understanding This alienation is so alarming to readers because it highlights a lack of awareness which readers either dismiss on the premise that the pictographs are nonsensical or they pay close attention to this gap of understanding in an earnest attempt to capture the projected and intended meaning Both reactions to the pictographs suggest that perception is not universal nor are readers reactions to what is perceived While the pictographs are CONSISTENT THROUGHOUT THE TEXT THEY DON T IMPEDE THE throughout the text they don t impede the of the text when a reader forgets and then begins to pay attention to the pictographs they attain a certain depth acuired through the performative logic that is best demonstrated in the uickly scrawled pictographs capturing the narrator s peril and psychological turmoil Readers who do not derive such meaning even still experience their own terror at being unable to reconcile the meaning Readers who do arrive at meaning experience the horror of understanding exactly what the pictographs mean These perceptions of the pictographs occur simultaneously which is rather different I think for western readers who tend to intellectualize the matter that is being perceived holding the matter at arm s length This act of arm s length reading can t occur in this reading if a reader is being cautious because the constructed meaning becomes itself a latent reminder of a person s ability to perceive This is suggested in a uote Adnan has pointedly borrowed from a woman in her book Journey to Mount Tamplais in which To perceive is to be both objective and subjective It is to be in the process of becoming one with whatever it is while also becoming separate from it At end ou have an author who is asking readers to construct the warfare in Lebanon beyond their comforts beyond their cultural lens beyond their cultural gaze beyond practiced and learned objectivity In many ways the use of the sun is in concert with the idea of an epicenter within the cosmos This is perfectly appropriate as we receive imagery of Moses as a ellow sun p 17 as Syrian and Israeli sentiments help to fuel opposition within Lebanon The ellow sun is also an allusion to irradiated atoms that form constructed matter which can construct destruction too most often depicted in people who offer ideologies to hurt one another believing they are the epicenter too pg 25 I am not a stranger to poetry but I m not entirely sure what Etel Adnan was trying to accomplish with her poetry book The Arab Apocalypse Perhaps it is because I m not Arabic Perhaps it is because I ve never directly dealt with war or suffering Maybe as an American and a white person my privilege which I fully recognize hinders me from seeing through the eyes of one who has truly known hardship But I believe that poetry should speak to people on a universal level That being said I do recognize certain elements of the craft which Adnan achieved This is a great example of form mimicking content as there is never a straightforward narrative or story and the lines and words all seem chaotic in nature This is true even down to the black symbols and illustrations on the pages Those very symbols are what made me weary of the form Personally I m not a fan of anything that seems gimmicky when it comes to the structure and form of poetry I believe that traditional stanzas couplets tercets uatrains etc are usually apt at creating tension or other feelings and resorting to seemingly extraneous symbols takes away the power that words and form hold alone I think the beauty of poetry is in the word choices alone and poets concentrate on every word and placement to hold meaning To fully appreciate this book I would love to know the opinions of those who it has affected personally I want the text broken down to me in fragments that I can try to comprehend my god we are the terrible sun my god we are terrible and full of stunt and hurt and my god alarmed earth and alarmed water please save me etel please haunt me Etel Adnan s The Arab Apocalypse is a book that defies what we consider to be the norm for form It is at once experimental and historical serving as a critiue and reflection on strife in the Middle East specifically in Lebanon For the most part it is largely impenetrable The language is fractured and scattered and graphic signs as described in the introduction by Jalal Toufic are placed throughout stanzas of what is best described as poetry The impenetrability of the book is most likely highly in. Rely registered by maps replete with signposts like hieroglyphs in a storm of shrapnel and broken glass And above all it is a book that though capable of being read in its orderly seuence has so surrendered to 'being there ' it can rivet the sensibility to the Middle Eastern condition at any point in the text so rapid are its mutations so becoming its becomingness like a wisdom book or a book of Changes Jack HirschmanIt has a power and intensity that few poets today can muster only Allen Ginsberg's. Tentional The Arab Apocalypse was
Not Intended For Western Audiencesintended for Western audiences is written by a Lebanese artist and poet and intended for Arabic audiences As the introduction states it seems that the author also an artist had already translated it into graphic signs for so many Arabs who are illiterate for whom Arabic is as illegible as English and French may they be jolted by its graphic signsintro at last but not least learning to read and then actually readTo a certain extent this book should be placed with Rabih Alameddine s Kool Aids Both are reflections on war in Lebanon
"AND BOTH DEFY HOW WE EXPECT A BOOK TO "both defy how we expect a book to written While Kool Aids is told through a massive amount of narrators without we expect a book to be written While Kool Aids is told through a massive amount of narrators without signage pointing to who they are this is told through poetic free verse In some ways it reminded me of the linguistic experimentation of the Beats A great example of this would be in VII when Adnan writes the followingBeirut sulphuric acid STOP the uarantina is torching its inmates STOP Beiruta sun on the finger a sun in the gun a sun climbing an elephantcannibal anthropophagus sun wart on the cargoes To describe this as stream of consciousness would be largely inaccurate Instead we should look at the book as a text that attempts to capture the internal workings of the mind in war and suffering As previously stated the graphic elements are a reflection on illiteracy But the greatest meaning comes from the way that Adnan seems to say to the reader I don t have to write how ou expect me to write because the Western world doesn t expect writers from the Middle EastThough there are many excellent reasons to read this book I thought it was an overall unpleasant experience Coming from the Western world this was impenetrable and I often found myself reading without much direction If The Sacred and Profane Love Machine you re looking for a straightforward narrative or any sort of traditional poetic structure this book definitely is not forou If No Unhallowed Hand (The Work and the Glory, you re looking for something that shows elements of the Eastern world and the literature that has emerged from war this is the book forou Ultimately be prepared for discomfort when reading both in content and in form Reading without understanding Knowing without knowledge If I continue making up platitudes I m sure something will stick that appropriately describes The Arab Apocalypse s uniue phenomenology In the Hollywood sci fi blockbuster Arrival the two main characters are asked to decipher an alien language built on symbols In understanding the language the characters rewire their brains to conceive of time outside of anglo saxon linearity which or less solves the language and concludes the movie Nonesuch resolution waits for us here reading tAA However through reading the text and examining it is an object we can if only momentarily ie while interfacing w this object begin to shift our understanding of a text textual objects language In viewing the text as an object I can do the following in variant and recurring orders hold the text smell the text read one page look at the cover read a different page look at the first page place the text over my face like a mask flip through the book s pages watch text fly by skip certain words skip certain pages examine the book s orange cover with black text look at the calendar think about pumpkin pie et cetera et cetera ho humApocalypses have a finality and explosion to them At times this text feels like an explosion a big bang of interpretation and knowing different planets stars systems of knowing The initial chaos of the text eventually enables a uietude within that chaos at least for me Part of me feels guilty for feeling at home in a text that s predicated on chaos or appears to be Coming from someone who generally stays away from poetry I really enjoyed this A lot of it or should I say all does not make any sense to me but I think that s what makes this good and uniue There s an element and I m not sure if it is the way in which everything is kind of scattered with no organization or the symbols on the pages but something about it feels organic and authentic which I likedThis book isn t trying to be anything other than what it is which in my opinion is authentic I took the disorganization of the book and poetry to mimic the way in which our brains and thoughts work in situations of high stress When reading this I got the idea of it being like war and how people don t think they just go on instinct in order to survive I don t know if I m wrong in that reading of this but that was how I took it Again I don t read much poetry but the authenticity in this book really got a hold of me in a way that I m still trying to figure out even after finish it. Howl comes to mind Alice MolloyThe power of Adnan's language and imagery reminds us that she is indeed one of the most significant post modern poets in contemporary Arab culture Kamal BoullattaTHE ARAB APOCALYPSE is to date Adnan's most triumphant battle with the exactness of words Douglas PowellThe poem invokes a mythic past of Gilgamesh Tammouz and Ishtar to presage a present that resists narration THE ARAB APOCALYPSE contests an uncritical reflection on the immediate historical past Barbara Harlo. .