L’Expression: Culture – “Love can save the world”

Lecritian Anouar Benmalek was a guest in the room of the French Institute in Algeria at the 25th International Book Fair in Algiers on Friday afternoon, where he presented to his readers his latest book “L’amour au temps des villains”, published by Emmanuelle Collas in 2021 and published in Algeria by Casbah Editions. It thus opened the rich program prepared by the IFA in the framework of this event dedicated to belles-letters. What is this new book about? “It’s really the trick question to ask a writer! This is called the course. It is the most unpleasant operation that exists because in two or three sentences one has to summarize something that fills 500 pages. We can not do that. “And to continue:” I would rather talk about what I wanted. The older you get, the more you tell yourself that I have to write such and such a book. First I would write something about the American Indians and so, as time went on, I say I do not know enough about their history to write a book, time has passed, I have written other books, etc. And then there was what I call “in the meantime” … While working on this book project, important events took place in the Arab world, especially Daesh’s performance, in Syria, in Iraq, etc. Little by little I started thinking about a book where there would be all that. time it was a difficult effort to take.How to make a book bearable? For the horrors happening in Syria are hard to endure.Writing a book to say that what the Syrians and Iraqis have suffered, including the Algerians, do not make them special beings.They are ordinary beings who have been affected by extraordinary events.
Song by Ismahan
And to add: “What transformed the project, I admit that it is while watching TV, I come across a song by Ismahan, and there Ismahan’s song becomes one of the reasons for the book. Because only love can hamper up with the horrors that occupy the world.For if there is no love, then what is the point of living? And to emphasize: “This novel may seem harsh, but it is also a novel in which I nurtured affection for certain characters , because they tried to resist the barbarism of the world and the barbarism that we are … “. Anouar Benmalek, who describes the framework of his book a little more and evokes the Tammouz character, will say that he wanted to talk about Mesopotamia because” ancient Mesopotamia produced monotheistic civilization, writing, etc. She also saw the Sumerian appearance and coexistence of the barbarism of the time and the contribution of Sumerian civilization. I had the impression that we also found him in the same region where we have both Daesh and remarkable people. Basically the beauty of the world and the horror of the world. I had to find a character who made the connection. Tammouz, it’s not the devil, but we’re approaching. Admitting that it is difficult to write such books, the author of “The Child of the Old People” will say “because it is also very easy to talk about the horrors of the world- Examples there are many of, I would like the reader, about Algerian , European, American, to discover people like us.Each of us loves someone.Try to believe that these people, people who love each other, are at some point in the middle of a war.
The challenge was to ensure that we do not say that only Syrians destined for accidents, no! They are people like you and me. Only love can repair what is happening, especially with us. Man is reduced to nothing. I like love stories. Only love makes sense for life. It is a love book set in an extraordinary context with a character, Tammouz, who goes back and forth between two eras, a priori very distant … ”.
Tammouz or almost the devil
When we talk about his characters, Anouar Benmalek will say that “a novelist should be attached to his characters. I show affection even to the most cruel.” On the work of writing, Anouar Benmalek, revealing that this book took him four years, will consider that a good writer should not have too much confidence in himself, otherwise he will end up writing repeated books.
Risk-taking is always important. I’m never sure of a successful book. “Regarding his methodology in the work, the author of” You Will Not Die Tomorrow Tomorrow “will consider that” Writing is sitting at the table, even when you have no ideas. From time to time you have a glimpse that happens. Eventually, when you are done, if someone tells you it is, you will be rewarded for your efforts. But that may not be the case. ”
By evoking the cliché that a writer is more productive during “incarceration”, Anouar Benmalek will confide in himself that these were “the worst years I have known.
The fact of having to stay home, this feeling of fear of the universal end of the world, was extremely painful.
The whole world found itself locked in. We lied a lot to each other by saying that the world would change, that after Covid we would have to restart on new bases, man remains what it is; selfish, etc. From time to time he reveals his good part of humanity, but … “Anouar Benmalek regrets not being able to write less length and will compare himself to” a marathon runner “who can write 500 pages, if not more .. “We Algerians, we like to talk. There is a kind of will to everything. To tell, to deepen the character traits, etc. But it is true that one must know how to stop when necessary and crop or rewrite by also removing when necessary. It is about balance, even if it does not exist. You have to feel it. The pleasure is above all this meeting with the readers, which is irreplaceable ”. In an outburst of optimism, Anouar Benmalek will encourage his audience to maintain hope while remembering that “there are also beautiful things in the Arab world, despite the dictatorships, generals, etc. We have poets, singers, artists, writers with enormous talent. We have our place in what is called the concert of nations. We are not, as some consider us, or as we consider ourselves, people who do not deserve their place in this humanity. We have it! We must still be aware of.
The Arab-Berber-Muslim world was first the seat of the invention of scripture. It must not be forgotten. Let us not succumb to the contempt we have for ourselves outside, ”he concluded.

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