Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 15th, 2022

Nada Corbani Akl

Shot from “Biographical Breezes”

I met with PHARES ZOGHB in June 1978 on the advice of Professor Ibrahim Fadlallah, a common friend. The purpose of the visit was to rethink his private library and give him a new breath in order to open it to the public.

Although he was a friend to my father, I had never met him before. The first time I set foot in his house, I was amazed by the pile of newspapers and books that laced all the rooms of the two floors and the attic of his residence in Kornet Chehwan.

Including his bed, his office, and whatever seats of visitors or Not.

Books were everywhere, on the rays of course, but also on the radiators, on the hairdresser, on the chairs or in the entrance waiting to be unpacked and even all around his bed, in a surreal view that I regret not having being immortalized by a photo.

None of the local books had escaped his annotations with this wide, leaning and generous handwriting that looked so similar to him.

Each book featured a mine pencil used in the form of page markings and blackened paper ends of ideas that ran away from pages as a try to come to life.

Reading them was a great happiness that wiped out the deciphering labor.

They summed up in a few lines, forced from one end to the other of the paper, his heartbeats and his comments.

Phares Zoghbi reveled in his books, loved to touch, offer them, lose them to buy more, get them in several copies to always have a reading to offer, share, offer or comment on.

He was able to find a lost title in a messy pile of documents just by dipping his hand into the lot, as if the book recognized the contact of its master!

Maitre Zoghbi always welcomed us with a handbook, walked around his house or garden a handbook, and never resist the acquisition of a reissued publication even though it’s already in his background.

He loved his books of a love I would say almost carnelian but to share with readers and his greatest joy was in the welcoming of the researchers with whom he wandered in rays filled with writings and bringing for Every subject its own explanation.

When a listed book disappeared, he would run to buy another one, worried about replacing it, of course, but glad the book was subtle to read.

His greatest pride, the Spirit magazine, always crowned before his eyes from the first issue published to the last release, in the living room where he often sat to read especially towards the end of his life.

The presence of this collection that he treasured soothes and remains under his gaze until the last day as to protect and reassure him of his choices and commitments.  · See original in French

Note: I patronized this private library for 15 years, rain or shine, walking 2 km every morning, until it was closed definitely by the Jesuit university who purchased this private property.

I would read and write and review the books I read and posted articles on my blog. It was a glorious period for publishing on my blog 

I had posted 2 reviews of his books and wrote about my experience with Maitre Zoghbi several times.




January 2022

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