the short story project

Nightly Lament

Kamal Riahi On:

Nightly Lament by Naji Daher

The French philosopher David Le Breton says that “we live, like children, in a world full of odors, which we are not necessarily aware of, but which undoubtedly affect our behavior towards others.” With this, Le Breton moves into a mysterious world that reveals how our discourse, which is overloaded with racism and hatred towards the other, stems from the moment we lose the neutrality of the smells of childhood. This is the same world that Sonallah Ibrahim, the Egyptian writer,  penetrated in his famous censored story “The Smell of It”; as well as Patrick Süskind’s protagonist Jean-Baptiste Grenouille in his novel “Perfume: The Story of a Killer”.

This is another story that bursts into this same world, in which the Palestinian writer Naji Dahir observes death closely–death as the most profound issue for humans, and yet the most rarely discussed.  Despite our sorrow as human beings, we have not yet discussed death and have not yet written about it enough.

A surreal, melancholy story that does not cease to embody the surprises that lie in the rhythms of death until its last word.