Salim Barakat


Salim Barakat (Arabic: سليم بركات‎‎, Kurdish: Selîm Berekat‎) (b. Qamishli, 1951) is a Kurdish-Syrian novelist and poet. He was brought up in Qamishli in northern Syria and spent most of his youth there. In 1970 he moved to Damascus to study Arabic literature but after one year he moved to Beirut where he stayed until 1982. While in Beirut he published five volumes of poetry, a diary and two volumes of autobiography. He moved to Cyprus and worked as a managing editor of the prestigious Palestinian journal Al-Karmel, whose editor was Mahmoud Darwish. In 1999 he moved to Sweden, where he still resides.[1]

His works explore his own Kurdish culture and chronicle their plight and history,[2] as well as Arab, Assyrian, Armenian, Circassian and Yazidi culture.[1] His earliest major prose work, Al-Jundub al-Hadidi („The Iron Grasshopper“), is an autobiographical narration of his childhood in Qamishli. The book explores the violent and raw conditions of his early adolescent life, suffused with nostalgic feelings for the Kurdish land and culture. The first part of the book’s lengthy subtitle translates to, „The unfinished memoir of a child who never saw anything but a fugitive land.“[3]

Barakat is considered one of the most innovative poets and novelists writing in the Arabic language.[2] Stefan G. Meyer has described his style as „the closest by any Arab writer’s to that of Latin American magical realism“ and has called Barakat „perhaps the master prose stylist writing in Arabic today“. Due to his complex style and application of techniques taken from classical Arabic literature, his influence has been almost one of a „neoclassicist.“[3]
Published works (in Arabic)

(1985) The Sages of Darkness (Arabic: فقهاء الظلام‎‎)
(1987) Geometric Spirits (Arabic: أرواح هندسية‎‎)
(1990) The Feathers (Arabic: الريش‎‎)
(1993) The Camps of Infinity (Arabic: معسكرات الأبد‎‎)
(1994) The Astrologers on the Tuesday of Death: Crossing of the Flamingo (Arabic: الفلكيون في ثلثاء الموت: عبور البشروش‎‎)
(1996) The Astrologers on the Tuesday of Death: Cosmos (Arabic: الفلكيون في ثلثاء الموت: الكون‎‎)
(1997) The Astrologers on the Tuesday of Death: The Liver of Milaeus (Arabic: الفلكيون في ثلثاء الموت: كبد ميلاؤس‎‎)
(1999) Debris of the Second Eternity (Arabic: أنقاض الأزل الثاني‎‎)
(2001) Seals and Nebula (Arabic: الأختام والسديم‎‎)
(2003) Delshad (Arabic: دلشاد‎‎)
(2004) The Caves of Haydrahodahose (Arabic: كهوف هايدراهوداهوس‎‎)
(2005) Thadrimis (Arabic: ثادريميس‎‎)
(2006) Novice Dead (Arabic: موتى مبتدئون‎‎)
(2007) The Sand Ladders (Arabic: السلالم الرملية‎‎)
(2008) The Anguish of Indescribable Perplexing Intimacy in the Voice of Sarmak (Arabic: لوعة الأليف اللا موصوف المحير في صوت سارماك‎‎)
(2010) The Agitation of Geese (Arabic: هياج الإوزّ‎‎)
(2010) Crushed Hoofs in Haydrahodahose (Arabic: حوافر مهشمة في هايدراهوداهوس‎‎)
(2011) Vacant Sky Over Jerusalem (Arabic: السماء شاغرة فوق أورشليم‎‎)
(2012) Vacant Sky Over Jerusalem, Part II (Arabic: السماء شاغرة فوق أورشليم 2‎‎)
(2013) The Mermaid and her Daughters (Arabic: حورية الماء وبناتها‎‎)
(2014) Prisoners of Mount Ayayanu East (Arabic: سجناء جبل أيايانو الشرقي‎‎)
(2016) Regions of the Djinn (Arabic: أقاليم الجنّ‎‎)
(2016) The Captives of Sinjar (Arabic: سبايا سنجار ‎‎)

(1973) Each Newcomer Shall Hail Me, So Shall Each Outgoer (Arabic: كل داخل سيهتف لأجلي، وكل خارج أيضاً‎‎)
(1975) Thus Do I Disperse Moussissana (Arabic: هكذا أبعثر موسيسانا‎‎)
(1977) For the Dust, for Shamdin, for Cycles of Prey and Cycles of Kingdoms (Arabic: للغبار، لشمدين، لأدوار الفريسة وأدوار الممالك‎‎)
(1979) The Throngs (Arabic: الجمهرات‎‎)
(1981) The Cranes (Arabic: الكراكي‎‎)
(1983) By the Very Traps, by the Very Foxes Leading the Wind (Arabic: بالشّباك ذاتها، بالثعالب التي تقود الريح‎‎)
(1991) The Falconer (Arabic: البازيار‎‎)
(1996) Recklessness of the Ruby (Arabic: طيش الياقوت‎‎)
(1997) Confrontations, Covenants, Threshing Floors, Adversities, etc. (Arabic: المجابهات، المواثيق الأجران، التصاريف، وغيرها‎‎)
(2000) Hefts (Arabic: المثاقيل‎‎)
(2005) Lexicon (Arabic: المعجم‎‎)
(2008) The People of Three O’clock at Dawn on the Third Thursday (Arabic: شعب الثالثة فجرا من الخميس الثالث‎‎)
(2009) Translating Basalt (Arabic: ترجمة البازلت‎‎)
(2011) The Flood (Arabic: السيل‎‎)
(2012) The Haughtiness of Homogeneity (Arabic: عجرفة المتجانس‎‎)
(2012) Gods (Arabic: آلهة‎‎)
(2014) The North of Hearts or their West (Arabic: شمال القلوب أو غربها‎‎)
(2015) Syria (Arabic: سوريا‎‎)
(2016) The Great Poem of Love (Arabic: الغزليّة الكبرى‎‎)
(2016) All the doors (Arabic: الأبواب كلّها‎‎)

(1976) Church of the Warrior (Arabic: كنيسة المحارب‎‎)
(1980) The Iron Grasshopper (Arabic: الجندب الحديدي‎‎)
(1982) Play High the Trumpet, Play It the Highest (Arabic: هاته عالياً، هات النّفير على آخره‎‎)

(1992) Diwan (Arabic: الديوان‎‎)
(1999) Pharmacopoeia (Arabic: الأقراباذين‎‎) (Collected essays)
(2007) Poetical Works (Arabic: الأعمال الشعرية‎‎)

Children’s books

(1975) Narjis (Arabic: نرجس‎‎)
(1980) Who Guards the Earth? (Arabic: من يحرس الأرض‎‎)
(1980) Sleep (Arabic: النوم‎‎)

1- „Contributor’s Profile – Salim Barakat“. Banipal (UK). Retrieved Feb 10, 2011.
2- Nassar, Hala Khamis; Rahman, Najat (2008). Mahmoud Darwish, exile’s poet: critical essays. Interlink Books. p. 342. ISBN 1-56656-664-9.
3- Meyer, Stefan G. (2001). The experimental Arabic novel: postcolonial literary modernism in the Levant. SUNY Press. pp. 87–88. ISBN 0-7914-4733-2.




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