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By the Sea (2001)

Tekijä: Abdulrazak Gurnah

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
3411176,956 (3.73)146
On a late November afternoon, Saleh Omar arrives at Gatwick Airport from his native Zanzibar. With him is a small bag in which lies his most precious possession - a mahogany box containing incense. He used to own a furniture shop, have a house, and be a husband and father. Now he is an asylum seeker from paradise, silence his only protection. Meanwhile, Latif Mahmud, a distinguished young professor, lives quietly alone in his London flat. When the two encounter each other in an English seaside town, the narratives each carries of their mutual past begin to unravel, revealing an infinitely more fascinating story of love and betrayal, seduction and possession, and of a people desperately trying to find stability amidst the maelstrom of their times.… (lisätietoja)
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» Katso myös 146 mainintaa

englanti (8)  katalaani (2)  espanja (1)  Kaikki kielet (11)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 11) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
14. By the Sea by Abdulrazak Gurnah
published: 2001
format: 245-page paperback
acquired: 2009 read: Feb 11-20 time reading: 11:09, 2.7 mpp
rating: 4
genre/style: contemporary fiction theme: TBR
locations: England and Zanzibar
about the author: born 1948 in the Sultanate of Zanzibar. Fled to England after the Zanzibar Revolution in 1968. Now a retired professor of English and postcolonial literature at the University of Kent.

This is my third novel by Gurnah, and I certainly now see patterns. Each book has covered a different era in Tanzania, but this is a sort of hidden feature. We learn about this part of the world, but it's never the focus of the book. Gurnah writes about characters and interactions, within the context of this world of Zanzibar and its surrounds. He loves the complicated financial dealings: trading, borrowing, taking risks, the calculations, patience and impatience, the tensions and emotions. And he loves just spending time, wasting time, enjoying wasting time. His novels always make room to sit and enjoy the moment. And the overarching trend is the graceful kindnesses amidst his story tensions. Even when bad characters are doing bad things, intentionally, and they still yet have this cultural overlay, a kind of banter and caring, and it humanizes them in such unexpected ways...in such ways we just don't see in our own lives, but we could.

This is supposed to be a book review. This novel is about an intellectual in England, Latif Mahmud, who confronts a recently arrived refugee from his home country, a refugee using his father's name. The old man he finds, a kindly weak old man, brings him some of his own history, much unpleasant. They meet, they confront, they share tea, and bards, and they tell stories. It's really a beautiful book. And the reader, thinking about these men and their stories, happens to see a window into Tanzania just before and then after independence, a brutal independence.

---

I copied down some quotes.

I want to look forward, but I always find myself looking back, poking about in times so long ago and so diminished by other events since then, tyrant events which loom large over me and dictate every ordinary action. Yet when I look back, I find some objects still gleam with a bright malevolence and every memory draws blood. It’s a dower place, the land of memory, a dim gutted warehouse with rotted planks and rusted ladders where you sometimes spend time rifling through abandoned goods.


----

Oh, I so relished these pointless little exchanges, these little sallies and dances, a small feint here and the subtlest gesture there. Not satisfied with my pointless and valueless life, I still want to relish its gigantic pointlessness


----

Latif to the old man:
"I think I imagined you as a kind of relic, a metaphor of my nativity, and that I would come and examine you while you sat still and dissembling, fuming ineffectually like a jinn raised from infernal depths. Do you mind my talking like this?"


----

Little could be done to lighten those sins, I needed to be shriven of the burden of events and stories which I have never been able to tell, and which by telling would fulfil the craving I feel to be listened to with understanding.


----

The old man to Latif:
"Anyway, you talk too much about words like honour and courtesy and forgiveness. They mean nothing, just words. The most we can expect is a little kindness, I think, if we are in luck. I mean, that is what I think. The big words are just part of a language of duplicity to disguise the nothingness of our lives."


----
2023
https://www.librarything.com/topic/348551#8076709 ( )
  dchaikin | Feb 22, 2023 |
"La crudeza del exilio según Abdulrazak Gurnah", El País 04.08.20222: https://elpais.com/babelia/2022-08-04/la-crudeza-del-exilio-segun-abdulrazak-gur...
  Albertos | Aug 10, 2022 |
Gurnah won the 2021 Nobel Prize for literature. I requested this book from the library when the winner was announced, and it finally came!

I had not heard of Gurnah before the prize was announced--even though he writes in English and lives in England. This book though, wow. Probably 4.5 stars? I found the very last explanation to be a bit dull, when it could have been big and angry and bitter. The novel is very slow, as two men--one 65 is old enough to be the other's father--explains why he is using the name of the other's father. How he came to be requesting asylum at age 65. The younger man made it to London before age 20 and never contacted his family back in their country of origin (Tanzania, specifically Zanzibar).

No spoilers! ( )
  Dreesie | Aug 7, 2022 |
Magnifica novela sobre l'exili i les lluites per diners entre familiars.
Retrobament a l'exili de dos persones amb un passat comú a les seves families a Zanzibar ( )
  alfarras52 | Jul 11, 2022 |
Abdulrazak gurnah, Premio Nobel de Literatura 2021.
Huyendo de la mítica isla de Zanzíbar, tierra de mercaderes de perfumes y especias acunada por los monzones, Saleh Omar, un comerciante de 65 años, llega al aeropuerto de Gatwick con una caja de caoba llena de incienso y un pasaporte falso. Para comunicarse con él, los servicios sociales recurren a Latif Mahmud, un poeta experto en suajili, profesor y exiliado voluntario que vive apaciblemente en un apartamento de Londres. Cuando los dos hombres se encuentran en una pequeña ciudad junto al mar, una larga historia de amores y traiciones, seducciones y decepción, azarosos desplazamientos y litigios iniciada mucho tiempo atrás empieza a desenmarañarse.
  bcacultart | May 23, 2022 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 11) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (3 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Abdulrazak Gurnahensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Andreu, CarlesKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

-

On a late November afternoon, Saleh Omar arrives at Gatwick Airport from his native Zanzibar. With him is a small bag in which lies his most precious possession - a mahogany box containing incense. He used to own a furniture shop, have a house, and be a husband and father. Now he is an asylum seeker from paradise, silence his only protection. Meanwhile, Latif Mahmud, a distinguished young professor, lives quietly alone in his London flat. When the two encounter each other in an English seaside town, the narratives each carries of their mutual past begin to unravel, revealing an infinitely more fascinating story of love and betrayal, seduction and possession, and of a people desperately trying to find stability amidst the maelstrom of their times.

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