Kamila translates Ralf Rothmann's novel into Arabic
ABU DHABI – Kalima, the translation project of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), published the Arabic translation of the German novel titled "Feuer brennt nicht" (Fire Does Not Burn), authored by Ralf Rothmann.
Ralf Rothmann again takes readers in a love journey that shows his ability to explore the human soul in its deepest images and realism, where it tends to be disproportionately selfish, showing how humans can only care about their own pleasures. But the novel also shows how the human soul can elevate at times to reach the highest form of loyalty and forgiveness of being betrayed – out of love, not stupidity – as lovers can sometimes forgive infidelity.
In the novel, what is poetic overlaps with what is historical and geographical. Several levels of poetry intersect, going beyond the beauty of metaphorical language and venturing into the poetics of place, time, vision, the wonders of faithfulness in love, and the beauty of sacrificing one's soul at the altar of love.
Details of place were strongly present in the novel, scattered through the movements of the protagonists from one city to another. It sometimes takes us on a journey of daily trips to markets, to old and new neighbourhoods in east and west Berlin, to shopping malls, to airports, and other places.
The events come within an important historical context, during the high turning point in German history after the demolition of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of the country. After twenty years, differences still exist; the process of fusion between east and west continues to face several difficulties.
The novel is a triangular love story at a time of many complexities. The protagonists are part of the community elite: a writer, a doctoral student and a university professor, whose fates intersect as the story unfolds. But the ending was least expected.
The author was born in 1953 in West Germany. He spent his childhood and youth amid a poor family. In 1976, he moved to Berlin where he now lives with his wife. His fiction writing is characterized by a biographic style with a language rich with personal experiences.
Amongst his most famous works are: "Stier" (Taurus) in 1991, "Milch und Kohle" (Milk and Coal) in 2000, and "Junges Licht" (Young Light) in 2004. He has won many literary awards, including Heinrich-Böll-Preis (2005), Max-Frisch-Preis (2006), and Walter-Hasenclever-Literaturpreis (2010).
The novel is translated by Yasmin Khalid, born in Alexandria in 1986. She graduated from a German school. She was awarded a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service. She studied translation at the University of Mainz in Germany, and has worked as a translator since 2007.