Tuesday,17 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1363, (5 - 11 October 2017)
Tuesday,17 October, 2017
Issue 1363, (5 - 11 October 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Emotional records

Emotional records
Emotional records

Omar Robert Hamilton and Lena Attalah discussed Hamilton’s novel The City Always Wins at the AUC’s Oriental Hall last week, writes Tamer Ayman. Hamilton explained that he was writing a screenplay documenting historic events he had been witnessing since 2011 when he realised he needed space for a voice over. Gradually the narration took over, and he could see he had a novel on his hands. That is why the characters are activists who lived through the revolution – the subject of the original script. 

From optimism to shock to stillness, “I tried to get out of my own experience and reach the feelings of the others. That is why I expressed the emotions of the martyrs’ relatives. At the end they were the greatest losers. Actually, when I looked at the novel before finishing it I was surprised with the great amount of pain throughout its pages… I used the city as a reflection for the emotions. It did not represent any value or character, but it helped in seeing the events more clearly. The rush of events in Cairo makes you focus on the present.  However, the past is always present here.” 

He began with the Maspero massacre of October 2011 rather than January-February 2011, he said, because “I think this day was the running point in the revolution. The 18 days of the revolution were like the big bang. They are like the beginning of history which you can see its results and they are mentioned a lot by the characters… During the events time was moving very quickly. On the other hand, now during this stillness we are living, time is moving very slowly. It was enough to make the reader feel the repression and other feelings after the events… Some of my friends read the novel before it was published. This is very important to be sure that I didn’t go wrong in any part and to know if some parts need more focus.” 

add comment

  
 
 
  • follow us on