As I was reading Chaos of the Senses by Ahlam Mosteghanemi I came across these paragraphs that struck an interesting cord. I hope you enjoy the extract and I’ll elt you know how the rest of the book goes.
“It had taken her some time to realize that they had completed the cycle of love. Because of a tiny nothing of which she was still unaware, they had entered the last chapter of a novel that had undoubtedly reached its conclusion.
When passion fades, we always lose something of ourselves, and we refuse to velieve that has happened. For this reason, breaking up is an art that eases the pain of loss- an art he clearly intended to avoid partaking of.
She now remembers the day she told him, “I want a sweet farewell.”
“Is there such a thing as a sweet farewell?” he had replied with the veiled irony. Sometimes he seemed like a monarch playing with the guillotine of language. He was a man taken by absolute words and decisive situations, while she was a woman sitting on the swing of possibility. How could there be a language wide or deep enough for both of them?
“How are you?” was all he asked. Before that day, she had never expected that a question
like that could throw her into such turmoil. With that, she discovered how awful some questions could be in their simplicity, those mindless questions we answer every day, without thinking, to strangers who really don’t care in the end. Neither do we care if they believe the answer, hypocrisy no less great that the question itself.
But with other, how smart do we need to be to conceal our pain behind language?
Some questions are only asked so the asker can gloat over someone’s grief. Their punctuation marks are laughter at our impotence, even when delivered in a warm voice that belonged to a once beloved person.
“How are you?” – a deceptive inquiry that hides another question. In such cases, we shouldn’t miss the grammatical trap: the subject here is not what we expect, for there is a hidden pronoun of challenge. The real question is “How are you without me?”
As for the predicate, well, all schools of love arrive at a common consensus. It is far easier for us to accept the death of someone we love than to cope with the idea of losing him and discovering that he is able to carry on with his life, in all its intricacies, despite our absence.
There is a kind of equality through loss from death, in which we find consolation.
She was weighing her answer when she realized that the conversation had suddenly turned into a silent war of passion, fought with painstakingly selected linguistic weapons.
The square table separating them soon became a chess table constructed of landmines of silence, where each player chose his color and position, placing before him his army, knights, and rooks to prepare for battle.
She answered him, going for the element of surprise: “Fine, thank God.”
The same religions that encourage us to be honest offer loose expressions that carry more than one meaning. Isn’t language an instrument of doubt?”
Very thought provoking wouldn’t you say… This was in the beginning of the book and I must say as it unfolds it gets more and more intriguing.