“They are not mentioned in the metaphor”: the story of the marginalized as they rebel

With a large dose of imagination, and a high ability of “narration”, and overlapping novel and narrative, and through two unknown times and places, the Omani writer Huda Hamad moves with the reader of her novel “They are not mentioned in metaphors” (Literature Publications 2022), between several worlds, while writing the rural novel “Azala” we do not know if it refers to the country, is it Oman? He talks about nightmares and strange dreams, and writes the scale of ugliness and ugliness in the behavior of the “lord of the fortress” and his advisor “Almas”, and the submission of the people to their superstitions trying to suppress any questions/rebellion against the prevailing, in a village called “Majaz”, in who is forbidden education and circulation of books, and forbidden to anyone who reads a book His destination is the “Mountain of the Absent Ones”, a mountain where there is no food, drink, or lust. A mountain for all who commit a sin, namely the sin of disobeying the teachings of the “master of the fortress”. Perhaps the “metaphor” of the name of the village here is a metaphor for the world to which the metaphorical world of the novel refers.
The “heroine”/narrator starts from her boring married life, and from the desire to visit her grandmother, who has been separated from her for many years., stories that are told about anyone who tries to read something, regardless of the way of reading. , his destiny is hell, which is represented in “The Mountain of the Unseen”, which refers to “Dante’s Inferno” on the one hand, and perhaps Abu Al-Ala’ Al-Ma’arri’s “Message of Forgiveness” on the other. on the other hand, but it is basically She refers to an unknown saying that says: “We were dead until we were nothing. We were mentioned in nothingness.”
The narrator/heroine receives a package from her grandmother, and in the package is a book from her grandmother called Buthanah (Repentant), which means she who returns from the centuries, and in returning those centuries she remembers the history of her country. and its people, the history of a person subject to myth, who lives in misery and oppression surrounded by mythical characters, in the novel Seven Personalities, which is spoken throughout history by grandmother “Bathna” (penitent), who introduces us to the character of Al-Dahhak. Traditions and customs… all in the language of Omani folklore, with its often difficult-to-understand vocabulary.

Amazing stories
The novel is divided into titles, and each title has an exciting story, stories of endless imagination, imagination in creating characters, and inventing a story for each character, inexhaustible rivers, and all the stories are poured into one glass, the glass of taking away freedom and life, the glass that the “lord of the fortress” drinks. And his assistant and adviser are without the slightest concern for the people around them, they are powerless slaves in a system that does not breathe.

From the first chapter, “Al-Rama, the grandmother’s book and the yellow sofa,” the suffering of the “heroine” (who has no name) begins, but she begins a new life with her husband, with the presence of the poisonous insect, “Al-Rama”. the village of “Majaz” and its stories.
The narrator first tells the story of “Al-Rama, Grandma’s Book and the Yellow Sofa”, which is about part of her relationship with her husband and her insistence on the yellow sofa to make herself comfortable, then she discovers the book her grandmother sent her, and her adventure to visits her grandmother in the village of “Majaz”, and the accident in which she suffered a brain fracture. And she was admitted to the hospital, to start telling her stories, the stories of grandmother “Bathna / the penitent”, moving between dreams, nightmares, hallucinations and reflections.
Starting with “Turning Eyes and Laughing Tales”, then “The Magical Teacher Who Does Not Affect”, the novel begins to move between the narrator’s reality and her nightmares, between the hospital where she is being treated and between the house of her grandmother who is accused of delinquency , then his grandmother “Bathne” who is thousands of years old and stories about his village “Majaz” whose simple people no one mentions.
Between painting and stage photography, and between thinking about this scene and that, we see the open head, the windings of the brain and the cold body, and we see the rummah (earth) that divides the brain and drinks from its fluids, in the middle of pitch darkness. We witness a dream/nightmare and meet the husband (18 years of marriage and no children, but only a shared library), the husband who explains the wife’s nightmare and her condition: no work, with “writer’s aphasia”, cutting vegetables in front of an open library creates a sense of security? ! Her husband is a political and economic analyst in newspapers and on television, and we read about her “craze for writing” and her relationship with a yellow sofa, and her husband described her as “a lazy and desperate woman who is waiting for a story that doesn’t happen, and unconsciousness torments her with dreams .” She “talks about writing and movies, but no real life.” And the mother and father, who are always sick and feel that the child is a child, remember the grandmother and the practice of “forbidden superstition … and shameful actions that tarnish one’s reputation.” Husband washes and dries dishes for lunch! The larva like fire devours the bookcases, and the woman does not allow light and air into the house, so the larva grows in darkness and moisture. Sleep is her greatest enemy, swarms of larvae… Reality or illusion? And she kills it with a book? Very exotic atmosphere.
The writer’s journey to her grandmother in the remote village of Majaz (300 km from Muscat), carrying a book containing the stories of grandmother Buthana (the penitent), is the journey of the main part of the novel. “The book that came out of the unseen”, Grandmother’s village / Childhood – “Google map will help me” The village, preparing to go to the grandmother, her eyes shine and glow… The birth of new cats that cause tremors in her body / Parallel to her own birth , and don’t forget to recommend the husband to take care of the cats. To my husband, who always prefers to feel that he is the savior, and that he is the authentic reason that things stay in place, to give his best…”. On the way listens to Faye Younan’s voice, narrates the dangers of a bumpy country road and fears that she will be cut off from gas and telephones.The fight continues with Al-Ram, “coming out of an old book”, and then the encounter with the grandmother occurs: dream or reality? ! Grandma heals wounds with herbs, milk and honey. Burned out car?! Hundreds of years repentant grandmother Bhutan is for the “chosen” granddaughter, she chooses one reader every hundred years, but the language of the book is an outdated language, and it is full of fables that include vocabulary from the old colloquial dialect, but it is also written in eloquent i poetic language.

And since it is difficult to present seven stories, it is enough to settle for one of them, although each story has its own world, rituals, characters and distinctive names, but what distinguishes and unites them is that they are narrated by “laughter”, and its collector in the “legendary” book is a “penitent”. The first and main story that deserves to be told is the story of al-Dahhak himself, the story of his rebellion and his exile to the valley, not to the “Hill of the Absent Ones” reserved for the “forgotten graces of God,” while the valley is for those who are less sinners.
The penitent old woman, Butanna, says: “People have a wild desire to talk, but they stick to their stories, like someone gripped by a pain that eats away at the deepest point of his soul”?? And “they knew how to listen and shake their heads…”, and “they didn’t reveal to me the names of those not mentioned in the metaphor, they didn’t tell me the whole story”, and “there is someone who could tell the whole story… It’s Al -Dahhak… He laughs in good times and bad.” And Bithna “wants someone to tell her story, because every time there is a new life for her,” and “she knows the suffering of people whose stories have not been told.” Butanna continues, “The old woman told me, in a strained whisper, of the forgotten ones not mentioned in the metaphors, and of the transparent gelatinous layer that stands as a barrier between the two worlds.”
The story of Al-Dahhak can be summed up as a mockery of the tales and stories of Almas, the advisor to the lord of the fortress regarding sinners.
Butna visits Dahhak in his “exile” to hear the stories of the forgotten who have been banished to the Mountain of the Absent Ones. So the stories begin to flow from the narrator in her fluent style in which there are many forms of storytelling, and the reader receives the stories with a pleasure that does not want to end.
As for the story “The Heart of the One Who Hangs the Sky”, in it we follow Al-Dahhak telling the penitent woman the story of “Nujeim”, and this story also deserves to be told to represent the amazing stories that the novelist has presented. “Najim” comes out of his mother’s womb after a short labor. He was born looking at the sky and its stars and smiling, hence his name “Najim”. He sleeps during the day and stays awake all night. His father brings him books, under pressure from his wife Umm Najim, but Najim wants more than reading. He wants to travel to study astronomy and the stars. In “Mountain of the Possible” he meets a girl/star “Al Thuraya” who knows a lot about the stars, and love falls between them. Suddenly, the chandelier disappears between waking and dreaming. Nujeim consults the wise woman of the village, Al-Khabbab, about the absence of his beloved Al-Thuraiya, and she reveals to him that “Al-Thuraya is not a woman, not of our human race. And she confessed her love to her sisters, saying: ” I want to touch him and for him to touch me openly so that I can be healed by him.” And when he announces his desire to marry her, she descends to him, so he marries her, which is a sin that deserves banishment to the mountain of the absent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *