The Kurdish Globe
Interview by: Shorsh Ghafuri
Globe: Where has the art of Kurdish novel writing reached? Has anything been done during the recent years about the art of Kurdish story-writing?
Kakaways: You may not find a definitive answer about where Kurdish story-writing has reached, because during its 80 year of life, the Kurdish literary story writing has been like a traveler who has stopped from time to time to take a break and carried a different set of language, technique and other arts from the world's modern stories, so I think that we have some works that have not lagged behind the level of international level story-writing.
Globe: If we divide Kurdish story-writing into two eras, pre and post revolution, we will come across differences in form and techniques. Is this categorization correct? How do you analyze this history?
Kakaways: I don't think this is correct for Kurdish story-writing, as even before the revolution, Kurdish story-writing had passed through different stages from dreaming, story-telling, rebellion, existentialism and resistance. Each of these stages can be addressed according to the vision of the authors and their environments. And if we talk about the post-revolution stage, we need to look at those texts whose authors have indeed treated them according to their era and have not separated story-writing from the new philosophy and the impact of modern technology, while still having a story-writing vision with all its components. And I think I can dare to say that I see a kind of text in the Kurdish story-writing that deserve international grading.
Globe: To what extend imagination and reality can unite in telling a story, i.e. are these two materials enough for bringing about a successful story?
Kakaways: In fact I cannot say how a successful story is produced, because there is something related to the world of the story-writer, whether it is imagination, dream, a message or whatever it is. I think most of the time these things overcome reality, ordinary and common things. What I have felt is that every story has some roots in reality, but fantasy, multi-intellectualism and sensation give it a magical outfit. I think here is where the secret of the success of a story starts, which is an enjoyable artistic game.
Globe: Can we compare Kurdish and foreign stories in all aspects of story-writing i.e. have Kurdish stories reached a level where it can compete and reach foreign stories?
Kakaways: This comparison may not be as easy and straight forward, as the cultures of different nations are different around the world, and both a story and its author belong to a specific environment and hence their way of thinking and their materials might be different. Our story materials may mainly derive from our sufferings, while the story of an American, French or any other nationality author might be about unemployment, livelihood or other issues related to everyday life. Although, this type of story is growing among Kurds, what makes us think like others is our humanity and in this aspect I have no doubt that we have stories in the Kurdish arts that have not lagged behind the universal route.
Bio -- Jalil Kakaways
- Born in Kirkuk in 1948
- Has BA in Kurdish Language from Baghdad University
- Started story-writing in the mid-1970s.
- Has worked in the media for 10 years
- Part of his stories have been compiled in the following books: Miraw, Boni Ashkawt, Chirka Zindwekan and Wachakani Mawlana
- He has a book under the title Kurdish Novel, which is a literary research and criticism
- He has a number of literary articles about story, novel, language and other literary topics.
- Part of his works have been translated into Arabic by a number of translators and published under the title Al Sa'at al Mutawaqifa (Stopped Hours)