The first thing we must ask is: Is writing a biography into a literary work worth a fee?
There are also those who raise another question: why do Arab women writers in novel writing find space to give some of their biography within the scope of the work in exchange for presenting a book under the name “biography”?
But doesn't this mean marginalizing the writings of Arab writers? Especially when there are generations of women writers who have written biographies, such as the novelist Radwa Ashour and her book “Heavier than Radwa”, the novelist critic “An Inspection Campaign” and the poet “A Mountain Journey”.
Perhaps writing an autobiography requires some courage and caution in societies that hold women's writing accountable. Therefore, the participants in this survey are trying to make literature only general humanism.
charter of truth
Qatari novelist Hoda Al Nuaimi, author of the biography “The Palms Revelation”, explains that in this book she preferred to be a frank and transparent narrator, and she chose “Revelation” as the title of the book, as in “Revelation”. may be an attractive title for the reader because there is a human curiosity in all of us to get closer to knowledge and secrets, and it is this legitimate human curiosity that has seen the wide spread of biographical books, especially in the West, And perhaps this, according to the Qatari novelist's account, is why my book has received acceptance and approval from those who have read it so far.
According to Al-Naimi, this means that deciding to write an autobiography is an adventure that requires a level of courage.
He added, “I found the courage to go through this experience myself, and it was really a beautiful time while writing that biography. Relaxing into writing and retrieving pages from life and memories were qualities that Time was on my side.” So much so that I will write a lot, and then decide which life scenes can be included in the book that I think is closest to a realistic novel. In short, the beautiful passion of writing has been with me all the time. ,
On the other hand, Tunisian novelist Fathia Dabash talked about the fact that all male and female writers, both East and West, draw inspiration from their lives and their locality in their writing, especially in the art of the novel.
Dabash adds: “Arab women writers should also be recognized for their ability to write novels, whether biographical or based on something else, especially since writing novels is more complex than writing autobiographies in terms of writing technique. Arab Women writers have proved that the difference between their writing and men's writing is only a quantitative difference.” Considering the abundance of production of (male) writers compared to the number of female writers.”
Dabash says: “As far as writing an explicit autobiography goes, Arabic literature is not devoid of it, even if it is rare, whether for male or female writers. This is for a number of reasons, including subjective and objective. Writing Biography One is a complete and independent project in itself and it requires a clear vision of what biography is and its importance.” An additional formation for the writer and the Arabic library. If this element is not available, the incentive to write a biography is invalidated.”
She adds: “As far as purpose is concerned, which is most important in my view, it is generally due to the failure of the Arab individual, whether man or woman, writer or other, to acknowledge, demonstrate In reconciling with culture, and truth; it is a pillar that cannot be written, an autobiography or an autobiography without awareness of it and without the ability to face the naked truth. I believe That is why Arab writers did not resort to writing candid biographies. And even the few “autobiographical” texts that have come down to us do not comply with the charter of truth, but rather the standards of self-glorification Come in.
On the other hand, Sudanese novelist Anne al-Safi believes that the writer – whether male or female – is aware of the local environment and figures from their cultures.
Al-Safi continues: “These cultures – through a system passed down through generations – have established fences and red lines that are not allowed to be crossed. Although there were previous historical eras that discussed everything possible Were, as told in works of oral stories, poems, pictures and writings of past eras.”
She further says that the issue is not limited to women only, but also to men. So that the writer can live as peacefully as possible; He avoids revealing details about himself by directly narrating his autobiography. Making the author morally accountable and personalizing criticism can take literary works and their authors to unimaginable dimensions. How can a writer live in such a society?!
Biography and Novel
On the other hand, Moroccan critic Mohamed Moatasem pointed out that women writers are hiding behind major political and social issues. She writes her own notes and diaries, just like the Egyptian writer Hoda Shaarawy did when she wrote about herself, focusing on general political topics, because diaries are just another type of self-expression that autobiographical writing provides. featuring Philippe Lejeune after “Hisself”. -pact” changed to “write yourself” and the woman once again hid behind pseudonyms, such as beach girl, sea girl.
This forced choice was expressed by the Moroccan writer Laila Abu Zaid in the introduction to her autobiography, “Return to Childhood”, through fear of the social environment, family and work colleagues, governed by value judgments characterized by generalization and ambiguity. , and which is based on a certain, collective judgment, a well-established “mental representation” in the inherited traditional subconscious, about the inability of the woman's mind to think and thus to create and innovate .
Hoda al-Naimi believes that an Arab author's recourse to the novel to expose her biography rather than presenting the book as a biography is a legitimate move in writing, as she leaves the reader room for interpretation. , and travels with it to raise his questions about the story, between truth and fiction, and between (the author's ego) and (the personal ego). Novel, and storyteller. The novelist may take refuge behind an imaginary character different from his real personality. Then, behind the curtain of that character, it is possible to reveal what cannot be revealed publicly, and thus the novel remains (the mask) behind which the autobiography or parts of it hide. I think”.
Although this applies to both genders, men and women, as Al-Naimi says, it actually applies more intensely to the world of Arab women writers than to men, “and I think the reason for this is There is no hiding from it, which is sensitivity.” The status of women in our Arab societies, because they are conservative and like to keep everything secret.” Which does not apply to Arab values, or absolute (purity), and that is what life usually does not bring, Therefore the natural place of revelation, according to the novelist, is the novel, a genre loved by many.
overt and hidden
Sudanese novelist Anne al-Safi admits that there are people who take direct writing as an inevitability and face the recipient, regardless of their background, and don't care, and there are people who take the characters for granted. , like to hide behind stories and tales. Narrative and poetic works were presented.
She adds: “Frankly, what matters is the aesthetics of the work presented. On the other hand, everyone should submit their CV, no matter who they are and whatever field they are in. If possible So follow objectivity and neutrality. We can question that. What is important is that the other party is the reader, and what he can benefit from these biographies and what harm it can cause to the author and the people around him, We can focus on their human aspects without paying attention to this. Is this the situation we have reached in our cultures?!”
Muhammad Moatasem says: “The Arab author himself has written in various forms and in various ways, including his positions in narrative discourse, opinions, and even his personal and field experiences, all of which exist It is distinguished by its ability to absorb the discourses of the cultural sphere, such as poetic, political, legal and media discourses, intellectual debate, evidence and investigation.
He concludes: “This multiplicity of forms of expression as well as the inclusion of self-authorship within the narrative narrative body has allowed critics and researchers to discover at the same time cultural and intellectual structures that refer to lived reality. and record many social situations and many political, intellectual and ideological issues that have affected people in different countries.” Modern and contemporary historical stages that shaped the face of the Arab world and drew its outlines and boundaries as it is today. But now, many male and female writers in the Arab world are accustomed to naturalizing their works without fear in the name of general or partial “biography”.