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Shamsur Rahman Faruqi  [ Indien ]

Biographie

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi Portrait
© Naisan Fatima Siddiqi

Gast des ilb 2001.

Bibliographie

Sabz andar Sabz
Shabkhoon Kitab Ghar
Allahabad, 1974

The Secret Mirror
Progressive Book SErvice
Delhi, 1981

She'r-e Shor-Angez
Bureau for the Promotion of Urdu
Neu-Delhi, 1990-1994

The Shadow of a bird in flight
Rupa & Co.
New Delhi, 1994

Early Urdu Literary Culture and History
Oxford University Press
Neu-Delhi, 2001

Savar aur Dusre Afsane
Aaj ki Kitaben
Karachi, 2001

The Colour of Black Flowers
City Books
Karachi, 2002

The Flower-Lit Road
Laburnum
Allahabad, 2005

Ka'i Chaand The Sar-e Aasmaan
Penguin
Neu-Delhi, 2006

How to Read Iqbal
Iqbal Academy
Lahore, 2007

Übersetzer: Christina Oesterheld, Amtul Manan Tahir

Sensation. Er versucht darin, die literarische und soziale Kultur der indo-muslimischen Welt des 18. und 19. Jahrunderts wiederzuentdecken und wiederzuerschaffen. 2006 erschien sein aufsehenerregender, umfangreicher Roman, »Ka’i Chaand The Sar-e Aasmaan« (Ü: Monde über dem Himmel), der mit dem nationalen Hali Award der Haryana State Urdu Academy ausgezeichnet wurde.

Unter seinen weiteren Werken sind vier Gedichtbände in Urdu. Obgleich nicht unumstritten, gilt Faruqi doch als unvergleichlicher zeitgenössischer Dichter innerhalb des Urdu-Sprachraums. Seine Gedichte thematisieren oft die Gefahren und Möglichkeiten der Modernisierung seiner Lebenswelt; seine Liebesgedichte setzen sich mit Misserfolg, Betrug und Einsamkeit auseinander. Faruqis außergewöhnliche Vertrautheit mit den Stilmitteln, Themen und Motiven der klassischen Urdu-Lyrik sowie mit westlicher Literatur nutzt er auch für stilistische und thematische Experimente, wobei sein bildhafter lyrischer Sprachgebrauch und die häufige Darstellung von Formen und Farben über jedweder »Botschaft« stehen, die im Gedicht vermittelt werden könnte.

Seine Arbeiten als Literaturkritiker, -theoretiker und -historiker sowie als Dichter, Lexikograf und Übersetzer trugen ihm den Ruf eines hervorragenden Kenners und behutsamen Modernisierers des Urdu ein, welcher dieser Sprache erneut zu einem höheren Stellenwert verhalf und zu einem verstärkten Interesse an Urdu-Literatur, besonders aus dem 18. und 19. Jahrhundert, beitrug. Seit den sechziger Jahren war er an der Erneuerung seiner Sprache maßgeblich beteiligt, indem er – wo nötig – westliche Kritik-Standards und Literaturtheorien adaptierte. Dabei setzte er sich auch mit der Urdu-Poetik auseinander und entdeckte sie gleichzeitig neu. Obwohl er selbst meist auf Urdu schreibt, verfasste er auch Werke in englischer Sprache.

Faruqis vermittelnde Stellung zeigt sich überdies in seinen Beiträgen zur Kanonisierung der umfangreichen, bis dahin oft nur mündlich überlieferten Urdu-Literatur – z.B. des Romanepos »Dastan-e Amir Hamza« (Ü: Die Abenteuer des Amir Hamza). Neben der Schaffung einer Theorie der mündlichen Überlieferung in Urdu war Faruqi auch daran beteiligt, die Tradition von Aufführungen des »Dastan-e Amir Hamza« wiederzubeleben.

Zu Faruqis Auszeichnungen gehören der renommierte Saraswati Samman Prize der Birla Foundation. Zudem verliehen ihm die Aligarh Muslim University und die Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad zwei Ehrendoktorwürden. Er wurde mit dem Urdu Award der Sahitya Akademi (Indiens Akademie der Künste) und den höchsten nationalen Preise vieler staatlicher Urdu-Akademien geehrt. Shamsur Rahman Faruqi lebt mit seiner Frau in Allahabad.

© internationales literaturfestival berlin

Berlin View

© Tazmeen Amna Siddiqi

My Writing Space

Funny, it never occurred to me to think of a writing space for me. I must thank the Berlin Festival for making me realize that such things exist.

It must be due to my Indo-Muslim upbringing, and also due to the way my life is organized, that I didn’t ever think in terms of having a space of my own. A desk, yes; a room or many rooms and cabinets full of books, yes; a sheaf of papers and a handful of pens, yes; later in life, a computer, yes. But “writing space”? Something that I call my own? I don’t think I ever had that. Remember, I belong to the pre-computer and pre-photocopier age, in fact, even the pre-typewriter age. I never learned to type anyway. Urdu typewriters were frightfully expensive and almost non-existent when I began to write. All of us wrote by hand, and had our manuscripts laboriously copied by a friend or a friend’s friend. That is, if we could be bothered to keep a copy of our text. The great Urdu critic and literary theorist Ehtesham Husain (1912-1972) once told me that he wrote with a very hard pen or a pencil with a carbon paper and blank sheet underneath. Tedious and time-taking and often disappointing, because the carbon image was smudgy and faint.

In Western novels, I often read of people having a private workroom, or library, or a kind of retreat from the din and bustle of a busy household. It was called a “den” and its privacy was practically inviolate. Similarly, people grand enough to have libraries felt entitled to shut themselves up in the library and bar entrance to all but a very few. Well, for us, such things remain in the domain of fiction. We place great value on modesty, but don’t consider privacy to be a necessary concomitant of that virtue.

I confess that occasionally, in the beginning of my writing career, feeling fed up with visitors or phone calls or the comings and goings that are a necessary part of an Indian household, I yearned for a den, or a library of my own where I could write or read undisturbed. But a lifetime of working wherever I could has now immured me from the need to have real peace and quiet for my writing.

I built a biggish house for myself in 1970, but didn’t designate any space in it as my own. I write poetry mostly in bed, or while travelling. I commit the lines to memory, or sometimes write them down as soon as possible. But the main point is that I don’t need any special space, or environment, or background stimulus for writing. For more than thirty years I wrote all my English and Urdu prose by hand, and without regard to having a proper desk even. Now that I have a computer, and have turned the biggest room in my house into a library, I still would like to write by hand as much as possible because the computer and/or the printer keep giving trouble one way or another. Everybody says that there is a mutual, primeval hostility between me and computers. I wrote much of my novel by hand, mostly at night in my bedroom or in my younger daughter’s dining space and put the pages in the computer at some convenient time. In theory, the computer has made things easy, but I don’t really feel comfortable with it.

My library, and another room, and a few cabinets, are full of a chaos of books. But they make me feel comfortable and at home and content in a strange, almost mystical way. I use the library as an informal living room, meeting area, and teaching area when my grandchildren are here. They make free with my computer but I don’t mind at all.

Here’s a drawing of my library, or informal writing space made by Tazmeen Amna Siddiqi, my thirteen-year-old granddaughter, from memory. She lives in Delhi where her older sibling Naisan (the photographer) also lives. Naisan is the photographer and musical talent, Tazmeen is the artist and the mimic of the family. They both read and write Urdu as their mother tongue. Tazmeen is also reading German at school. Naisan proposes to learn French at college. Their mother is a Professor of English, the father, an international lawyer.

Tazmeen has drawn the picture as if the south wall of the library, also full of books from floor to ceiling, didn’t exist (or is transparent, as she says.) I composed the short text on the drawing. I like the drawing very much. I hope that you do too.