Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘A Way out of History

A Way out of History (May 7, 2009)

 

            The citizens of the developed Nations, within their own boundaries, feel that they have no longer any need to learn history or their own history.  History to the citizens of the developed nations is a drag, a waste of time, of no use, totally irrelevant. They are mostly correct in their feeling and appreciation of the uselessness of history relevant to their nation: first, they have reached as a society a level of social cohesion, awareness, appreciation of human dignity and human rights; and second, they are more concerned about their present state of affairs, maintaining their current level of comfort, consumerism choices, creating diverse opportunities, future availabilities for their desires and wishes.  These modern citizens have institutions to continue the good work; institutions to analyze whatever history is appropriate for the nation, institutions for research, for legitimacy, for governance, for economy, for finance, for strategic studies, for learning, for art, for marketing, and for studying the under-developed States and minorities.

History for the citizens of the developed nation is plainly relegated to the under-developed States. The Third World and Fourth World “citizens”, (we should create another term for citizenship for the under-developed world because it is frankly too pompous and inappropriate any which way you define a citizen), have nothing left but “history” for amusement and to give them reference to an illusory identity. History for the “history citizens” has been written by the vanquishers and then translated and interpreted by the colonial powers. The archeological sites in the land of the “amused archaic citizens” were dug out and investigated by the colonial powers and the artifacts were dusted off, cleaned, and conserved in secured museums that the traveling tourists and immigrants never visit.  The chasm between the developed and the “non-developed” States is huge and growing larger by the day.  History is still being taught in the developed nations simply because more immigrants are flocking in and some sort of integration in commendable.

More likely, a citizen would visit an immigrant friend to fill him in on current news and occasionally get a good laugh on stories of their respective ancestors; yes, the immigrant might know more details on the citizen’s ancestors and the history of the citizen’s country.  In fact, hard copy dailies are published to satisfy the voracious curiosities of the immigrants. Storytelling is a cultural trademark among immigrants and getting together is worthless and devoid of any interest if no bickering accompanies the assembly.

If there are rival “civilizations” it must be in the mind of the immigrants. They are attuned to any gesture, tone of voice, slang, or posturing that remind them of their “indignity”, their frequent humiliations, their total dependence on the host nation for understanding, leniency, forgiveness, compassion, and equal treatments under the laws. The immigrants are overachievers, hard working, on constant alert of changes in behavior and special laws, on foreign policies regarding their “homeland”, on unequal measures doled in foreign policies and moral values.

“Civilization clash” is in the mind of the immigrant: the citizen doesn’t care about the agony and tribulation of his immigrant friend.  The immigrant is a sponge for all kinds of curiosities in art, theater, intellectual life, and any association that invites him to participate.  The immigrant is most likely polyglot and can converse in many languages and he has to suffer being mocked for his accent in the local slang; he has to be corrected frequently because accent is the main avenue for integration and acceptance as a civilized individual.

Discrimination is in the mind of the immigrant.  A citizen would immediately recognize an immigrant for miles if he cared to focus a second on the individual.  The citizen in an administrative position has to call upon the cleric, the community leader, or the father of the immigrant before taking any decision for any kinds of permit application; the immigrant is supposed to be looked after as an immature kid no matter how old he is. Equal treatments are the domain of the citizens and interpretations of the law and customs are appropriate when dealing with an immigrant.  The whole gamut of the UN laws for human rights were targeted for the under-developed States that are shaming human kinds in their state of affairs.  Yet, many “non-citizens” would like to experience a new era when embargoes on military hardware, military trainers, and military experts are imposed on dictators, juntas, and oligarchies who are flaunting the UN human rights declarations in their under developed States.

Seriously learning the language of your immigrant friend is the first sign of real friendship. Blatantly observing the differences in culture and customs is an excellent sign of friendship. Vigorously and unabashedly critiquing divergence in opinions is sign of friendship. Make no mistake: any behavior that smack of covert apartheid is quickly sensed by your immigrant “friend”.  Make no mistake: the next generation of your immigrant friend will be exactly you, when you were younger. If you are serious for integration of your immigrant friend then behave as if you are dealing with the next generation, on a par.

Critique of Amine Maalouf’s “A World Adrift” (May 10, 2009)

 

I read all of Maalouf’s 11 books in their original language French. I have already published eight posts with themes inspired from “Le Dereglement du Monde” (A World Adrift) with expansion and re-arrangement for logical flow and in a different style; for example “China and India Empires”, “Instantaneous Expediencies”, “Minorities in the Process of Disappearing: Iraq Case”, “Misleading Legitimacies”, “Imaginary Certitudes”, “A Way out of History”, “Move Inland, Son”, and “Three Global Temptations”

. I have already reviewed at least three of Amine Maalouf’s books; in addition to “A World Adrift”, I reviewed “Origins” and extensively reviewed “The Garden of Light”.

            Amine Maalouf is from Lebanon by origin and settled in France during the civil war and has been a French citizen for 30 years; he received many book awards and acclaims of the highest honors from the French Academy of Literature.

            My critiques are mainly focused on the style of his latest book.  I had the visceral impression that Maalouf is an “imprisoned westernized academics” that has to prove at every turn that he is a western mind and thus, he has to insist on introspective paragraphs to settle his credibility as an impartial author who obeys the cretirion and restrictions of western demands on acceptability.  I admit, if I were not a Levantine and fluent in French, I would have been lost and given up on finishing the book.

            I was frustrated that Maalouf had to persist in almost every page that he is no scientist or has no scientif credentials to confirm that the climate is changing because of the over concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.  He had to fall back on Pascal’s logic that the remedies for reducing CO2 are beneficial to earth climate even if this gas turns out not to be the culprit.  All the western nations have been substituting CO2 emiting generators and vehicles with “clean” energy technologies for decades and they were not waiting for Maalouf’s Pascal logic to confirm the obvious in action.  Maalouf has the intelligence and references and he did his research and he didn’t need to ruin a good chapter with convoluted excuses on his scientific shotcomings.or credentials.  The reading becomes pretty boring unless Maalouf is trying implicitely to give literature a higher standard than sciences in human progress.

            My example of clear style is that section on “Three Global Temptations”: it stated the dilemma and the resolution with a supportive practical story in a Levantine style. The fundamental global problems are established and they need to be read as a Bible for human future survival.  That is what most people read and how they assimilate critical urgencies in ideas, the Levantine Bible style.

I stated in a previous post that “The Levantine style (basically the style of the Bibles) is characterized by direct pronouncements expressing feeling and describing what is seen, heard, and assimilated.  The sentences are not encumbered by prefixes such as “I think”, “I believe”, “I am not sure”, “It is possible”, “There might be other versions”, “I might be wrong”, or “It is my opinion”, or what the western writers have adopted from the Greek “rational” style.  The style in the Levant sounds confident, categorical, and conveying the total truth though it does not mean that the people cannot discriminate or feel the variations, possibilities, and uncertainties.  The writers in the Levant simply feel that all these attachments are redundant since it is a fact of life that nothing is categorical or certain; thus, superfluous additions that disturb the flow of thoughts and ideas that need to be conveyed are not appreciated.  Consequently, the author feels that the western readers of the Bible should tone down their uneasiness with “outrageous” direct and assured pronouncements in the Bibles.”

 

I claim that if you still need to add superfluous corrective, introspective, or “diplomatic” paragraphs then you might as well warn your readers that the piece is still in the draft stage, that you are still ruminating and reflecting, that you are still in the stage of talking to yourself, and that you need your readers to help you out finish the article.  It is my position that when you are ready to publish then you should adopt the Levantine affirmative style, the style that confirm to your readers that you have thoroughly thought out your topic, that you have written several drafts, that you have regurgitated your positions in many scarp papers, and that all you need from your readers is their alternative opinions, positions, and their own personal experiences to round up the topic.

            I recommend for the next edition that Amine Malouf add an introductory introspective chapter and then let the ideas and arguments flow un-interrupted. He may as well add a brief introspection to the beginning of a chapter that reflects his shortcoming that are relevant to the chapter (for example scientific credentials) and permit the reader to focus on the topic.

            If Maalouf fails to re-edit his manuscript then I would be forced to re-write it under the title “The Bible of Global Problems: Global Resolutions”

 

 

 

 Malouf add an introductory introspective chapter and then let the ideas and arguments flow un-interrupted. He may as well add a brief introspection to the beginning of a chapter that reflects his shortcoming that are relevant to the chapter (for example scientific credentials) and permit the reader to focus on the topic. If Maalouf fails to re-edit his manuscript then I would be forced to re-write it under the title “The Bible of Global Problems: Global Resolutions” heir own personal experiences to round up the topic. I recommend for the next edition that Amine Malouf add an introductory introspective chapter and then let the ideas and arguments flow un-interrupted. He may as well add a brief introspection to the beginning of a chapter that reflects his shortcoming that are relevant to the chapter (for example scientific credentials) and permit the reader to focus on the topic. If Maalouf fails to re-edit his manuscript then I would be forced to re-write it under the title “The Bible of Global Problems: Global Resolutions”

323.  “A World Adrift” by Amine Maluf (May 7, 2009)

 

324.  A Way out of History (May 7, 2009)

 

325.  Move Inland, Son (May 7, 2009)

 

326.  The Blemish (May 8, 2009)


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Blog Stats

  • 1,427,872 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 775 other followers

%d bloggers like this: