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Minor Detail av Adania Shibli
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Minor Detail (urspr publ 2016; utgåvan 2020)

av Adania Shibli (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4561855,542 (4)51
Vilken p©Æverkan kan en bortgl©œmd detalj fr©Æn ett krig ha p©Æ kommande generationer? I den f©œrsta delen av Adania Shiblis precist utmejslade roman En oansenlig detlalj beg©Ær en pluton israeliska soldater ett krigsbrott mot en beduinflicka i Negev©œknen. H©Þndelsen intr©Þffar 1949, ett ©Ær efter det som palestinierna s©œrjer som Nakbadagen den stora katastrof som ledde till mer ©Þn 700.000 m©Þnniskors exil. I den andra delen f©Ær vi bekanta oss med en ung kvinna i Ramallah som l©Ængt senare b©œrjar nysta i denna h©Þndelse, som i historieskrivningen f©œrpassats till att vara en oansenlig detalj. Hon p©Æb©œrjar en personlig unders©œkning som med tiden n©Þrmast ©œverg©Ær i besatthet, inte bara p©Æ grund av brottets natur, utan ocks©Æ eller kanske framf©œr allt f©œr att h©Þndelsen intr©Þffade exakt p©Æ dagen 25 ©Ær innan hon f©œddes.… (mer)
Medlem:bluemondays
Titel:Minor Detail
Författare:Adania Shibli (Författare)
Info:New Directions (2020), Edition: Reprint, 144 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Minor Detail av Adania Shibli (2016)

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» Se även 51 omnämnanden

engelska (16)  spanska (1)  nederländska (1)  Alla språk (18)
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A very controlled and devastating book. The first section is deeply unsettling —the pov of the Israeli officer who is bitten by a spider and seems robotic in most ways but then orders his platoon to rape a young Arab girl. The second section is a relief—to be in a morally reliable pov. But the ending is inevitable and horrifying. ( )
  wordlikeabell | Mar 15, 2024 |
Harrowing and terrifying. I read this in one sitting and my face contorted into a grimace with each page I read and when I finished, a deep indentation between my eyebrows had formed. Minor Detail is a fictional story about a true event: 1949 a year after the Nakba, IOF soldiers capture, rape and murder a Bedouin girl - this was covered up by the state and the IOF for decades (in 2003, the Guardian reported, “the government and army understood the shame that would fall on the armed forces if the girl's fate became known to wider Israeli society, so the murder and trial were classified as secret.”) The story is told in two parts: the first being from the POV of the IOF commander in 1949 and the second part is several years later from the POV of a Palestinian woman attempting to learn more about the girl who was murdered.


To note: Litprom canceled a celebration that was to be held at the Frankfurt Book Fair for Adania Shibli - who was awarded the 2023 LiBeraturpreis for this book.
The Los Angels Times article detailing this

The referenced Guardian article ( )
  s_carr | Feb 25, 2024 |
From Little Things Big Things Grow

This a a book I will never forget. It shows the true horror that can be enacted when one group of people see another group of people as less than human.

The book is in two parts and starts off describing an officer of the Israeli army getting ready for his day in his camp in what is now known as southern Israel. It is 1949, one year after the war that the Palestinians mourn as the Nakba, and the officer’s actions and ablutions are described in minute detail. Every action, every part of him putting on each item of clothing is described. At first I thought that the character was suffering from OCD, but eventually it came to me - every detail, every thing we do has its importance.

During that day in 1949 a Bedouin girl is captured and abused physically and mentally. A dog has followed her. She has her clothes torn from her body. They are thrown carelessly into a heap and petrol poured over them. They are burned. Her long hair too is covered in petrol and cropped. The dog howls. All this described in minute detail. She is then put in a hu and the officer leaves the camp and the detail of camp life stop. For the reader there is silence except for the howling of the dog. But we know and can imagine what is happening.

Many years later in the Occupied Territories an Arab office worker learns what happened to the girl in the camp from a newspaper article. She becomes obsessed with the story, as the day of the girl’s capture is the day after her own birth

She can’t get hold of any official documentation because she is Arab. So she decides to go to the area of the camp to see if there is any record there. This is no easy task as being a non Israeli she can’t rent a car or even travel without a pass, and even then she has to line up at checkpoints. Nevertheless she manages and her efforts and trip south are described in minute detail.

Arriving south she rents a room in the Israeli Area A. She luxuriates in bathing in hot water and in having continuous electricity. The next morning she gets inter the rental and drives. There is a smell of petrol. A dog follows her.

The book ends fittingly. I’ve written all that is necessary.

It is shattering. It is brilliantly written. In both partís it is fearful and unsettling.

I highly recommend this novel. ( )
1 rösta kjuliff | Feb 6, 2024 |
The book opens on August 9, 1949, exactly one year after the Deir Yassin massacre in which 110 Palestinian men, women, and children were murdered in their village on the outskirts of Jerusalem. An Israeli officer and his men are in the South Negev desert along the Egyptian border searching for Arabs. They set up camp, and that night, the officer is bitten in the thigh by a spider. After several days of searching, they discover a small group of Bedouin by an oasis. Within minutes the Arabs and their camels are slaughtered, all except for a young woman and a dog. Four days later, she too would be dead.

"We cannot stand to see vast areas of land, capable of absorbing thousands of our people in exile, remain neglected; we cannot stand to see our people unable to return to our homeland. This place, which now seems barren, with nothing aside from infiltrators, a few Bedouins, and camels, is where our forefathers passed thousands of years ago. And if the Arabs act according to their sterile nationalist sentiments and reject the idea of us settling here, if they continue to resist us, preferring that the area remain barren, then we will act as an army.

The second chapter is about a woman in the present day who reads and becomes obsessed with an article about the girl's death because it occurred exactly 25 years to the day before she herself was born. She decides to investigate the incident further, but is hampered by borders: those that physically limit the movement of Palestinians and those that she has internalized in order to protect herself in a highly violent and unpredictable environment that is Israel.

It's the barrier of fear, fashioned from fear of the barrier.

The writing is very spare, and at first I was confused by the focus on minor details in the book (even despite the book's title, my first clue). Why write the minutiae about how the Israeli captain washes up and shaves every day? But as the story unfolded, I realized that every word was there for a reason.

But despite this, there are some who consider this way of seeing, which is to say, focusing intently on the most minor details, like dust on the desk or fly shit on a painting, as the only way to arrive at the truth and definitive proof of its existence.

Obsessions with cleanliness versus decay, the howling dog, chewing gum: every detail would have meaning. Everything ties together despite the fragmentation of history and the unending cycles of violence. The ending is as devastating as it is inevitable. ( )
  labfs39 | Feb 1, 2024 |
"But despite this, there are some who consider this way of seeing, which is to say, focusing intently on the most minor details, like dust on the desk or fly shit on a painting, as the only way to arrive at the truth and definitive proof of its existence." — Adania Shibli

On the Winchilsea Phenomenon.

Virginia Woolf remarks in A Room of One's Own on the poetry of Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, who in (justified) reaction to injustice, is often, against her own better judgment, writing poorly. (The unexpected endurance of Woolf's text is not a singular phenomenon — I am finding myself returning to the so-called "basic" writings of Foucault not infrequently, and anticipate doing the same for Said's remarks on "Orientalism," as here below.) The experience at the core of the obliterating Event can be that of a denuded Holocaust literature (Primo Levi, who is abstracted just enough to be able to put things into words). However, at the eyewall (hurricane metaphor -> gaza wall) the writer may be subject to intense feelings of Reaction. Perhaps this is how we find Shibli in the Wind Chill Sea (Winchilsea), neglecting "[intent focus] on the most minor details," against her own better judgment. Of course our sympathies are with occupied Palestine.


On knowing it all hangs on the minor detail:

Part one, the ostensible history of a war crime, follows our unnamed commander, who does "military maneuvers" in the "great expanse of the arid Negev desert." The conspicuous absence of detail on military equipment is perhaps later explained by our author-stand-in, who visits a war propaganda museum, and rather than taking things down on paper, sketches a picture of a "tommy gun" which later looks "like a rotten piece of wood." (The lesson is not, apparently, that the lumpy counternarrative is present even within the smoothed-over narrative of the occupier, but rather one of loss-of-sense.) Our commander suffers a venomous bite in the left thigh (reversal of the narrative of the biblical Jacob ("Israel") who was healed in the right thigh), a wound likely received from a spider (possibly the Mediterranean Recluse given development of central necrosis). (The progression of a wound is useful for establishing dramatic momentum.) Observing the soldier who might lose life or limb, we are surprised to find spiders described as "slender legged" and "delicate," with no further descriptors. (At this point one wonders whether we are well into the polemic/metaphor that no longer cares about "minor details." (Why doesn't our narrator, who later suggests her people are 'in perfect harmony with nature' care to check out a book on Palestinian entomology?)) Beetles are just "gray." Sand "languidly sucks" water and later blood, in what is obviously metaphor but would be better if it weren't so simply so. (Aside: are these sand scenes supposed to convey the ephemerality of (wet) life spilling itself over a bit of wasteland, the patient resistance of the Palestinian people (who are always absorbing more suffering), the avaricious thirst for territory of the Israeli colonizers whose "blond beards [...] resemble grains of sand." None of these facile interpretations justifies the intrusion of such un-detailed descriptions of landscape which prefer broad metaphor to the "minor detail" of actually seeing it.)

Our victim is more un-real than anything, with "curly hair" that smells of gasoline and "brown" "sand-colored" skin. Perhaps this is the author's point about reconstructing a history of the past. (Our narrator at one point is watching a propaganda film of Israeli settlement construction backward, perhaps a little too amused by the vision of settlement deconstruction, which Vonnegut conveys better in the reverse war films of Slaughterhouse Five.) This unknown victim is "Orientalized" and then magnanimously made-self in the final scene (mistake). It's a consequence of the Winchilsea phenomenon that the author recognizes that identification with the subaltern is very tricky to do, but proceeds anyway in a movement which is certainly off the mark. (Given that "the past is a foreign country," one wonders what the English-speaking 21st century Palestinian office worker has in common with the 20th century camel rider.) Perhaps another option would have been to recognize what we know is unknown about that scene from the past and take it even further to the certainly-false region of "magical realism," to provide a definite account of what is definitely false in reflection upon the fact that any account the author would supply is definitely untrue, though this option is foreclosed.


Of "Wanting to go and die in Peking (and not being able to)"

Lyrical polemic is fraught because it may also reflect onto its victims. In contrast to our desert-bound Helen-like Heroine, our English-speaking modern-day narrator, who vacillates between underemployment and border-terror, can (and, in fact, does) leave the situation where our bright young students have to become bubblegum girls just to see a movie on the weekend. Facing an experience of 'all terror, all the time' (aside from a movie which is presumably being shown somewhere), why not simply let the terrorists win? The arc of history is long. One might return to Palestine after forty years or so in the desert — after the Empire has restructured. So we are in a bit of a bind when our narrator turns out to like American-style showers (92) and the windows not being blown out by bombs (95). But this is immediately recuperated:
And when I get out of bed and open the windows, the room isn’t filled with a thick cloud of shuddersome dust; instead, what sneaks inside is the soft, tender air of dawn. I keep listening, my ears trained to the sound of repeated bombings, and I feel a strange closeness with Gaza, as well as a desire to hear the shelling from nearby, and to touch motes of dust from the buildings being bombed.

Are we really talking about a struggle for life (Shibli's opinion), or rather a committed struggle to the death (Shibli-post-Winchilsea). More from Woolf: "Clearly her mind has by no means 'consumed all impediments and become incandescent.' On the contrary, it is harassed and distracted with hates and grievances." In a telling penultimate scene our narrator briefly encounters a woman "in her seventies," from a Palestinan encampment that's "in perfect harmony with nature." She thinks this "old woman" might have the answers she is looking for, but lets her walk away without posing the question. That our narrator refrains from going door-to-door would be telling, if not for the reminder that this is a work of fiction, and that our "oriental" stranger is the absence of an absence. ( )
  Joe.Olipo | Jan 1, 2024 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (2 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Shibli, Adaniaprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Bitari, MohamadÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Jaquette, ElisabethÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Munday, OliverOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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Vilken p©Æverkan kan en bortgl©œmd detalj fr©Æn ett krig ha p©Æ kommande generationer? I den f©œrsta delen av Adania Shiblis precist utmejslade roman En oansenlig detlalj beg©Ær en pluton israeliska soldater ett krigsbrott mot en beduinflicka i Negev©œknen. H©Þndelsen intr©Þffar 1949, ett ©Ær efter det som palestinierna s©œrjer som Nakbadagen den stora katastrof som ledde till mer ©Þn 700.000 m©Þnniskors exil. I den andra delen f©Ær vi bekanta oss med en ung kvinna i Ramallah som l©Ængt senare b©œrjar nysta i denna h©Þndelse, som i historieskrivningen f©œrpassats till att vara en oansenlig detalj. Hon p©Æb©œrjar en personlig unders©œkning som med tiden n©Þrmast ©œverg©Ær i besatthet, inte bara p©Æ grund av brottets natur, utan ocks©Æ eller kanske framf©œr allt f©œr att h©Þndelsen intr©Þffade exakt p©Æ dagen 25 ©Ær innan hon f©œddes.

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