Friday, March 4, 2011

l e i t m o t i f ( s ): february was nice to me.

l e i t m o t i f ( s ): february was nice to me.

Book Review of Fetish Systems by Raafat Majzoub



This book is not only daring and courageous; it is also beautifully written, powerful, and difficult to categorize within established literary genres.  It is also impossible to forget.

The work seems to function as an autobiographical account that reminds the reader of a love letter, written without regard to time, space, chronology or traditional (expected?) plot development.  The result could have easily been chaotic and alienating (and it is, but in an empowering way), yet Majzoub's style of writing keeps the reader interested, curious, often uneasy, but always fully involved in the 'narrative.'  We often feel courted by the lyrical quality of the work and the questions that arise--centering on narrating the self, on questioning the alleged impotence that seems to define the work as a whole--ultimately leads the reader to turn inward in an attempt to recuperate the validity of one's own "fetish system."

I absolutely recommend this book and its author, Raafat Majzoub, seems destined for greatness.  The only cautionary remark I would make is to toss your inhibitions and pre-expectations aside and to approach this book, perhaps like its jilted lover, in a manner that will enable you to go on a journey that begins nowhere, and ends nowhere.  This voyage to and from nowhere is worthwhile, to say the least, and the work as a whole--written by one of Lebanon's most promising young authors--will leave you deliberately uneasy, cleansed, transfixed and transformed.

Ramzi Salti, Ph.D.
Stanford University

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