Thursday, January 29, 2004

By the way, on Saddam's ambition to be a writer: his advisor Tariq Aziz told Chief Weapons inspector, David Kay, that up to the start of the war, Saddam was sending him his last manuscript to edit. I read Saddam's first novel, Zabibah Wa-l-Malik, and it was such a boring and tedious narrative, very much reflection of Saddam's personality (Saddam is more boring as a speaker than even John Kerry). And the odd thing about the novel (he was too arrogant to write his name on it, so it just said: "by its author."). The novel carries the classic romantic themes and describes the ordeals of this woman, and how the just king (presumably Saddam) was so kind and loving and nice, etc. I do not recommend that novel. But I recommend the new novel, I`jam by my dear Iraqi friend Sinan Antun (just released by Dar Al-Adab in Beirut); it is very powerful and captures the atmosphere of freight and horror under Saddam's rule.