Reem Ghanayem On:
Karim the Romantic, Bather of the Dead by Ziad Khadash
There is no doubt that the voice of the Palestinian writer Ziad Khadash is among the most important in the Palestinian literary scene, having left its mark on Palestinian creative writing for more than a decade. Khadash does not write stories from the traditional political framework of commitment to the Palestinian cause. Rather, he writes as a defeated fighter. He writes out of his commitment to Palestinian human rights and to Palestinian existential concerns, penetrating into the daily surreal scene of Palestinians living in a refugee camp. The short stories that Khadash writes sometimes become grotesque, and are rooted in the local life of Palestinian collective awareness. From there, he flies high into the cosmic. Reality is the raw material from which Khadash forms his plots–which abound in black humor, irony, and a macabre style that all work together to create texts of exceptional quality.
Throughout Kareem the Romantic, Khadash maintains a light balance between the different voices of his mysterious hero who combines sensitivity and reading with the harsh reality of the camp. As he combines elements of the living and the dead, and as he provides a devastating reflection of the brutality of daily life for everyone around him, Karim becomes a perfect representation of life and death–and the eternal shift between utopia and dystopia.