By Mir Mansoor
I wonder, why do people create hype for particular pieces of fiction? There are many factors and perspectives which play a dual role in this way; a few have curiosity in romantic stories, some people take interest in historical fiction while some develop their interest in folk tales or horror stories. Based on their fascination, people often create hype and readers follow their narratives towards the most hyped piece. I also find myself becoming a victim of similar discourses, for instance, Metamorphosis by Kafka. Frankly speaking, it did not inspire me at all, except a few lines of the story, there is nothing worth retaining.
I have noticed that there can be a problem with translation because Kafka’s stories are knitted with a strong plot and offer a great message on life. Word to word translation is simply nothing but an injustice with the text, however translation of ideas could be possible that make the text a friendly-read, or one can do justice with the soul and style of the text. For instance, a flagship novel of Oriana Fallaci-Letter to a Child Never Born- the original text does not inspire readers rather it is an exhausted prose as compared to its Urdu translation Kokh which is done by Sadia Emil.
Now, in this day and age, writers are in a state of confusion whether they should invest all their energies on creativity or should they invest a hefty amount on formidable channels, newspapers and magazines to get good coverage. Ultimately they all will be blessings in disguise so to be elected or selected for various awards. In this battle, we cannot produce legends like Sartre who considered all this activity as rather childish.
An award-winning novelist Rehman Abbas recently penned down a novel named Zindeeq. I had gone through a number of reviews and looked at its demand on social-media. I ordered and started reading every word fastidiously and diligently, however the text doesn’t offer me any elixir of life. It’s a famous saying of critics of the time regarding Tolstoy, that his War and Peace was nothing but a loss of pages. Same is the case with Zindeeq; an interesting part of the novel begins at the end. There is no shadow of doubt behind the fact that it’s research-oriented work. But one must keep in mind while documenting research work that there is hell of a difference between fiction writing and research documentation. As far as my understanding is concerned for Zindeeq, if a reader exclude physical relations of protagonist- Sanaullah- with a number of lady activists from the story then there will be nothing remaining to be declared as fiction, rather it can be considered as a good piece of travelogue.
Since Stéphane Mallarmé has given a concept of symbolism, a number of writers and poets started to depict human physical relation by representing symbols as D. H Lawrence exquisitely illustrated human private life in his poem, Snake. Similarly, a renowned writer, Haleem Brohi also has done justice with Freudian phallic school of thought by using symbols in his novel “Oraah.” Only those who went through Freudian Psychoanalysis, will certainly point out that the writer is talking about human private life. However, naive readers will enjoy the text with the same zeal and zest.
Means to say, it is the art of a writer to present private acts in a complex way that a common reader fails to comprehend, because they deserve to remain confidential. As Ezra Pound used to instruct poets of his generation to ‘make it new or make it difficult.’ Such creativity enhances the beauty of art because art always desires more interpreters; if the artistic work of Mona Lisa had been seen through a single lens it would surely not be sold in pounds. So once, poets, artists and writers create artistic creation then it becomes a property of critics who interpret them in multiple ways. And that interpretation is no less than a prize or award for the real artists. It has been said that if one wants to know how it felt, read literature. So, imagine when a literary writer fails to make his/her readers feel, it will remain an art of propaganda and this connotation has not been positively taken by practical or critical minds.