Nizar Qabbani: My Story with Poetry - "An Autobiography"
As the title of this book indicates, this is Nizar’s journey in life as a student, a son, a man, a lover, a revolutionary, a rebel, a diplomat, a patriot, an ambassador, a world traveler, a citizen of the world, a literary critic, a champion of women’s rights, and a Don Juan. Above all, he is a pioneer of Modern Arabic Poetry and the innovative “poet par excellence” who stood firmly and honestly in the face of the literary and political establishments that held, at that time and for the past thousand years before, an absolute monopoly on the fettered mind and on the restrained imagination of generations of young Arab men and women, both politicians and intellectuals alike. Nizar stood unyielding. He was a “Man against [the] Empire.” He was the uncompromising witness to his times and era, an effectual participant who helped shape the new movement in Modern Arabic Poetry and modernize the Arabic language and the Arab nation’s outlook towards women, love, sex, emotions, and most definitely, patriotic sentiments that were until then politically correct but phony and void of any national passion or commitment. Nizar Qabbani was never a casual observer standing on the margin of history or a bearer of false witness and fake testimony; instead, he was the storm that brought the change and the mirror in which the Arab nation saw its putrefied and failing body reflected and suspended in a vacuum on the decomposed garment of tradition and worn out institutions. This book is not just an autobiography of Nizar Qabbani; rather, it is a comprehensive testimony of his era and a multi-faceted historical and humanistic document that records the story of the Arab nation’s emotional, political, social, literary, and cultural struggle against its own outdated tradition, against foreign influences, and ultimately against itself and its own demons of superstition, magic, fables, and archaic beliefs.