The Five Minutes’ Wings by Ibtissem Khalil. Reviewed by Ehab Elmalah.

Ibtissem Khalil’s The Five Minutes’ Wings (The Collection Cover)

The Five Minutes’ Wings: A Fictional Prospectiveness of the Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions

The Five Minutes’ Wings is the title of the new short story collection of the Tunisian short story writer and researcher Ibtissem Khalil. It was recently published by Editions Walidoff-Tunisia and introduced by Tunisian critic Moncef Louhaibi.

The writer introduces her first fictional experience included in all the short stories which she wrote and submitted for publication a few days before the outbreak of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution; the first spark of the spring of the Arab Revolutions, and a month and a few days before the great Egyptian Revolution of January 25, 2011. It is a different writing that aspires to difference.

Introducing this new collection, Moncef Louhaibi says,

These short stories are the debut production of Ibtissem Khalil.

From the first text “Edges,” we are in the face of a language that

has a taste, a colour, and a scent, and in which the water of language

flows in the form of narrative images even when it is telling in an

unusual way the narration of events.

Louhaibi adds that there are

narrative images that are governed by a logical divergence which

is accounted for by more than one source in the story that she tells

because the author, to her credit, knows, due to her knowledge of

the subtleties of Arabic, how to avoid kitsch literature which copies

reality in the form of a metaphoric world like what is exemplified in

many examples of modern Arab literature, either poetry or prose,

that belong to kitsch that is written by every Tom, Dick and Harry

of Arabs and even not by every Tom, Dick and Harry.

The writer enters into her stories with the situations of the fictional character that are happening in her consciousness and cognition or with her things that were pertaining to her or those which she is keeping while she is peeling the events of living and its incidents apart. Thus, the writer takes their skins and remolds them in the medium…

A story titled “Silence, Exchange, and Gold” is among the stories of the collection in which the writer combines to a great extent the atmospheres of suffocation, despotism, anger, and conflict in both Tunisia and Egypt.

Ibtissem Khalil is a Tunisian writer and critic. She graduated from the École normale supériure of Sousse. She holds a Master’s degree in Arabic Language and Literature. She participated in many literary and critical events. She is a member of The Arab Meeting Mohamed Bachrouch for the Short Story and Critical Studies. She publishes her texts that oscillate between poetry, short story, and drama in specialised literary newspapers and magazines. The Wellspring and the Bloom: Critical Readings in Tunisian Narration, and a poetry book titled A Dance with the Wolf of Inscriptions are forthcoming in the near future.

This article appeared in the Egyptian newspaper Tahrir News 13/01/2012 by Ehab Elmalah.

You can read the original text in Arabic here.

Translated from Arabic by Ali Znaidi.

About aliznaidi

Ali Znaidi lives in Redeyef, Tunisia. He graduated with a BA in Anglo-American Studies in 2002. He teaches English at Tunisian public secondary schools. He writes poetry and has an interest in literature, languages, and literary translations. His work has appeared here and there and is scheduled to appear elsewhere . At moments of revelation, he smokes and drinks green tea with mint while pondering.
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6 Responses to The Five Minutes’ Wings by Ibtissem Khalil. Reviewed by Ehab Elmalah.

  1. jmsabbagh says:

    Congratulation on your nice post.Best wishes.

  2. Would it be possible to post excerpts from the book? I’m curious about the language and the writing style that is highly praised in thsi review.

    • aliznaidi says:

      I do not have this book. This article is just a translation of a review of the book. Besides, the book has not yet been translated. Anyway thank you very much for your interest.

  3. Simo says:

    Do you know where I can find the book on the internet? Thanks

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