the short story project

The Story of a Sock

Kamal Riahi On:

The Story of a Sock by Muhammad al-Asfar

By means of the biography of a lost sock, Al-Asfar takes the reader to a multi-layered world where the sock provides perspective on one layer and captures its details and features before moving on to another. The sock leads multiple lives through the events of the story. In this reworking of an ancient narrative device – from the Golden Ass of Apollonius to the Memoirs of a Dinar by Doctor Dahesh ­– the sock is not just a sock, but made of flesh and blood into which al-Asfar breathes a soul. The sock experiences life as a sensitive human dogged by bad luck: he finds himself in the house of a poor newlywed couple where he is handled by hands gentle and cruel depending on who is doing the laundry. This symbolic story is well worth reflecting on, laden as it is with projections of the marginalized human who collects small tragedies like holes in a sock until they make up a major tragedy: loss of identity and self and being forced to become something else