Maroun Abboud: Tales from the Village
In Lebanese scholarship and literature, Maroun Abboud is undoubtedly the pioneer of Realism and Pragmatism, a movement which he successfully led and which shed new light on the trend of writing which dedicated itself to the village and the life of the villagers and peasants. Abboud’s writings, which were entirely dedicated to village life, stand as a decisive landmark that established a bridge between the old descriptions of country life and the new outlook concerning life in the village. There is definitely a marked difference between what we read about the Lebanese village or any village anywhere else in the rural Middle East and North Africa before and after Maroun Abboud. Yes, Abboud praises the beauty, serenity, and simplicity of the village, but he makes it clear that these qualities, which idealize the village, are not enough to enhance the villagers’ daily life and that such descriptions and adjectives belong in poems, romantic stories, and songs chanted in the capital far away from the reality and true hardships of the village life.This book takes you on a journey in time between two worlds: the ancient and the contemporary. It comes full circle and is actually a quest for self-fulfillment and spiritual enlightenment. It is part history and part autobiography. It is also immersed in superstitions, mythology, religious liturgy, and church rituals. Whether you are a casual reader, a dedicated student, a government official, a simple villager, or a sophisticated city dweller, the book will educate you about the bittersweet realities of life in the village.