A Life Full of Holes: A Novel Recorded and Translated by by Paul Bowles, Driss Ben Hamed Charhadi

By Paul Bowles, Driss Ben Hamed Charhadi

Some of the most strange literary strategies ever produced, A existence packed with Holes is the results of a novel collaboration among amazing participants: Driss ben Hamed Charhadi, an illiterate North African servant and highway seller, and mythical American novelist and essayist Paul Bowles. The robust tale of a shepherd and petty trafficker suffering to keep up desire as he wrestles with the awful realities of way of life, it's the first novel ever written within the Arabic dialect Moghrebi, faithfully recorded and translated into English through Bowles. uncomplicated but wealthy in complicated feelings, it's a attention-grabbing within examine an unexpected culture—harsh and startling, but interwoven with a poignant, poetic good looks.

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Sample text

No. All I told him was that I’d pay your wages to him each month. It’s very good this way, isn’t it? I said. I do the work and he takes the money. I’ll talk with him, he told me, and we’ll see what he says. 48 Driss ben Hamed Charhadi So we went on working until we finished the wheat. Then we carried the last of it from the nouedder to the house. El Fellah bought me a new pair of belrha and a long woolen tunic and a djellaba. Here, aoulidi. I bought these things for you out of my own money. I’m giving your full wages anyway to your mother’s husband.

This is our spring. I saw the water. Beside it there was an empty clay pot. Why is this pot out here? I asked her. Because there’s a djinn living in the spring. The djinn beat a man of our village. And always every Thursday we bring food for him. But food without any salt in it. We bring it to the spring and leave it here. And the food? Who eats it? The djinn. My grandmother says he eats it. Is that true? I swear, she said. That’s something new. I never saw anybody leave a pot full of food by a spring before.

I walked all the way down until I came to where he was. I said to him: Friend! What? 44 Driss ben Hamed Charhadi Here. Take the food the woman has sent you. Good. I told him good-bye and climbed back up. When I got to the house, the woman said: Now take the sickle and the basket and go and cut food for the bulls to eat tonight. Where am I going to cut it? Go, Seudiya, and show him. So the girl went with me again. Behind the house there was a big orchard. Barley grew there under the trees, and that was what they fed the bulls.

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