Writing in Corona's time … literature and epidemics between influence and influence


For many years, the current generation has been reading about previous epidemics and seeing the scenes that make it feel chilling during reading, and some may not have expected that these scenes be returned and live by themselves at the present time, which was caused by the Corona crisis.

Epidemics have been present in literary works with their various branches since the Greek era, which established the causal relationship between the plague and sin in some works, such as the Iliad, when Agamemnon captures the daughter of a chaplain to the god Apollo, and the plague spreads in the Greek army.

Also, the English writer Daniel Defoe (1660-1731), author Robinson Crusoe, embodied the plague in his novel “The Day of the Plague”, in which he touched on the plague that spread in London in 1665, describing the scenes of fear and panic that prevailed upon everyone after the outbreak of the plague.

Also among the most prominent epidemiological works are the two novels “The Khatiban” and “The History of the Pillar of Shame”, by the Italian novelist Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873), about the plague.

Love in the time of Cholera

A novel by Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, first published in Spanish in 1985. She turned into an English language movie in 2007.

In it, Garcia managed through the events that take place in a river ship where (Florentino Aretha) invites his girlfriend to a river trip on a ship owned by his company, so he agreed and employed the epidemic through a trick, which is raising the yellow flag, in reference to the epidemic, and that the time of cholera is something that forces everyone On leaving the ship, some ships were physically seized at sea during the time of Corona in more than one country.

Scarlet plague

It is a novel written by Jack London and published in 1912, but it is fictional that tells the story of the post-apocalypse.

Ebola 76, a novel by the Sudanese novelist Amir Taj al-Sir, is more realistic, with real places and true history.

the plague

It is a novel by Albert Camus “1913-1960” who considered epidemics a slogan for evil in this novel, published in 1947, describing the plague and its symptoms and the complete inability to fight it in Oran, Algeria.

The literary text is the result of the writer’s interactions with the historical and social milieu in which he moves, writes and nurtures the writer’s experiences, memories, social relationship, intellectual and artistic tendencies.

The questions now being asked in the time of Corona are what relates to writing about the time of Corona and the literary approach to the current crisis, and whether it will prompt the writers to write immediate or slow, and its impact on the literary product in general.

Sk and globalization

Initially, the Saudi writer Hashem Al-Jahdali says that it is not possible to compare what is happening now due to the Corona virus, which is a complete paralysis of all life, with what happened previously during the epidemics that raided the world.

Speaking to Sputnik, he added that the Corona virus has achieved globalization radically, and that appearances have turned into semi-identical copies in almost every city in the world.

Influence and influence

With regard to the book’s handling of isolation, Al-Jahdali sees that the matter differs from one writer to another, and that the usual writer in this atmosphere is easy for him to adapt to the new public atmosphere, or more precisely, less affected by its repercussions. As for the usual writer on the general lifestyle, and communication with people and streets And cafes, it will definitely fall under the circle of boredom.

And he thinks that one of the disadvantages of boredom is that it breaks down time and makes everything unusable. Ideas continue, but implementation is postponed, but we will certainly find rare cases that take advantage of this historical opportunity to complete some of the projects that are postponed either as reading, writing or translating.

Al-Jahdali indicates that the world at a historical moment may not be repeated over the coming decades, but everything after it will be different on several levels of economic, health and social and cultural.

The Iraqi novelist and playwright Nahid Al-Ramdhani talks about the leave and full-time writing and meditation of every writer’s dream.

But Ramadan again puts another vision in his talk to “Sputnik”, saying: “Compulsory leave and compulsive prevention of movement is completely different from devoting to writing. As the atmosphere of terror experienced by the world makes it difficult for the writer to focus and try to accomplish something new.”

With regard to the meaning of writing, he says: “Writing about the epidemic and trying to accomplish a creative text based on this idea is something that I do not think and cannot comprehend, and perhaps this feeling is very personal, and related to my internal composition, for example I mention two books that I could not complete reading, This rarely happens to me. The first novel is the plague of Albert Camus and I remember reading a third of the book and leaving it. “

Ramadan continued, “Then I returned to him a few years later, and I also left him, and there is nothing left in my memory of him now except to describe the dead rats in the city of Oran.”

On the second novel, which is the story of blindness, by Jose Saramago, he said, “Although I was amazed by the high symbolism of the novel, I suddenly found myself abstaining from completing the reading when the epidemic increased among its characters.

He continued: “Finally, I must mention something that may seem strange. This crisis strongly reminded me of an animated series entitled” Adnan and Lina “, directed by Japanese creator Miyazaki in 1978, citing the novel” The Great Tide “of Alexander K 1970, wondering about the causes of the fallout and whether it had a global war That will change the life and balance on the planet, and the writer imagined it would happen in 2008, or perhaps because the characters in this novel were striving with all their efforts to reach the land of hope. “

Dramatic shift

In the same context, the Iraqi novelist Manal Al-Rubaie says that the current stage is a dramatic transformation point at all levels of creative work, if we exclude the economic and political fields, but rather the new world order, given the serious questions raised by the crisis regarding concepts related to European and global progress and development, At the expense of the so-called third world, specifically the concept of health care and medical development.

The effects of stone on literary production

Regarding the cultural field and literary writing, Al-Rubaie sees that the book needs more time and close monitoring, in order to be able to assess the effects of forcing people to stay in their homes in what resembles compulsory isolation, especially as it is a difficult human experience, which will have great effects on the outcome The literary stage of this juncture of recent history.

And she continued: “With regard to the choice of some to write in these circumstances – and if I am not of this category – it will definitely be subject to a lot of personal pressure, and the general public in light of the vast amount of contradictory information sometimes and this in my opinion may affect the quality and consistency of the text.”

And she added: “History specifies for it about half a century, to be analyzed or archived, and we are currently living in a global crisis until now, no one knows the extent of it, not even its secrets.”

Isolated islands

As the Tunisian poet and writer Reem Kamari said: “I think that the Corona pandemic, which we did not expect at the beginning to take these dimensions, and turn into a global epidemic, imposed on us a quarantine world of dimensions, turned us into something like isolated islands from each other, and strengthened Virtual life, largely as our only way out, to keep in touch, and feel that we are alive in some way, which is what the common man shares with the writer, poet, and creator as well.


She added in her talk to “Sputnik”, “The question that arises today with great urgency, especially for the writer and the intellectual, is we today are going to live a different life experience ?, Humanity did not pass by more than 100 years, and will this experience give us as writers, governed by its sensitivity Excessive things, an opportunity to take advantage of this forced stone and turn it into a positive and fruitful isolation? ”

Kamari considers that the exceptional epidemiological experience will not go unnoticed, but rather will dig deep inside us and leave traces that will be reflected later in our literary productions poetry, story and novel, especially that the shock of isolation that we live in today may result in literary forms and new and different forms of expression.

Nothing is complete

She continued: “Perhaps now and at this current moment we are unable to express this accurately, because we are simply still inside the circle, and our stone is tainted by waiting for anxiety and perhaps fear, but by the end of the stone the effects of this period will emerge strongly, in most literary and artistic works, because writing is not Inside the event you are literary and artistic in the classic sense of the word, time has to pass to write about all this.

Today we only have the investment of stone time to read and write on the margins, and to be filled with this unique and cruel experience at the same time, as if we are storing words for tomorrow.


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