Critic Dr. Ahmad Alsadiq: Sudanese Narration Is An Adventurous Writing In A Very Complicated Context

Critic Dr. Ahmad Alsadiq:  Sudanese Narration Is An Adventurous Writing In A Very Complicated Context



-Tracing all genres of creative writings is the epistemological function of criticism.

-Translation has a role of human affinity and a start for worldwide narration.

-Cosmic boom of novel has diminished spaces for poetry and story.


KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Dr. Ahmad Alsadiq Ahmed is considered as one of the prominent contemporary critics in Sudan. A university lecturer by profession, he is specialised in English language, it's pedagogy and language research. His doctorate thesis was titled (Linguistic politics in Sudan: issues of power, ideology and cultural difference) and his book (Disclosing the state of writing), published by Abdelkarim Mirghani Cultural Centre, follows up the situation of writing, question of identity, modernity and postmodernity within an epistemological and conceptual context; an issue he had endorsed for almost two decades. Dr. Sadiq is one of those who applies critical curriculum on creative works with special reference to novel and story. He has performed numerous translations in various creational and intellectual fields and jointly arabicized and prepared the book of Dr. Jiovanni Vantini: (Rediscovering Nubia).

Sudanow has met with Dr. Ahmad Alsadiq Ahmed and discussed with him several issues on the current cultural spectrum.

Q- How do you look upon contributions of previous critics in creativity procession, and what is your view on the situation of current critique?!

A: I recall the critical memory that has prevailed in Sudan. All of them are my masters and tutors. I maintain continuous affinity with Muawia Nour, Sami Salem and Abdel Quodous Alkhatim. I also regularly follow current critical writings. It is necessary to chase writing products with all its genres, which is historically being one of the epistemological roles of criticism. I’m especially interested in all that is written by critics on novel as a genre strongly emerging in Sudan. As you may know, our Shiekh and patriarch Ustaz Abdel Qudous Alkhatim had passed away a while ago and left us a legacy; that if we are able to keep it, we would never squander. He had a brilliant mind that never stayed apart from human knowledge: Elliot and Edmund Wilson author of To the Finland Station. Equally he kept rereading Muawia Nour and never ceases rereading his beloved poets: Almajzoub, Abdelhai and Muhammed Almekki Ibrahim; nor even ceased listening to the Sudanese classic songs (Alhaquiba) and his favorite vocalist Alaquib Mohamed Hassan. On the hands of Qudous, if you allow me, an identity of Sudanese criticism had been formulated. In this aspect, lies his late revisal readings of Collin Wilson and South African Kotzi.

Alsadig's book

Q- Do new criticism curriculums need modern texts for keeping up; or is it new texts that has brought these curriculums?  

A: Contemporary criticism writing has witnessed, particularly in the last two decades, immense progress that has led into interconnectional horizons and equally theoretical and conceptual complexities; especially, for instance, in the wake of (postmodernism) trend. I find myself close to the sociology of the text, because the text is absolutely a product of social procedure, or as one might say, it is socially formulated. Accordingly, critics and persons occupied with text criticism in particular could plunge into the text, to its bottom line, for the sake of disclosing its contents and cipher mechanisms (structural horizon), and how these ciphers perform leading to meaning and indication (hermetic horizon). This, of course, is one facet truth; for incursion into text cannot be accomplished without valid tools that encompass interconnectional harmonies of criticism knowledge and awareness for high explanations levels and its limits. Hence, some texts of utmost complications could be found either on indication perspective (the form), or indicative (the content). Furthermore, it embodies all complexities of a world dominated by violence rhetoric and it's very globalizing process.  

Q- Is the Sudanese novel written by those who are inside or outside Sudan? How and why?

A: Let us speak about identity of Sudanese narration, which is an adventure in a very complicated context of cultural, ethnical and linguistical variation. This cannot be avoided in the narrative content, and examples of the novel product in the past few years are similar to a momentarily narrative awareness, in which writers are wishful to push the very person onto this exhausted geography via history widest gates, and who then admits the mechanisms that stood behind much of novels writing and also epics. Thus, narration writings maintain the memory of place, irrelevant where it was written. How clear was the memory of the great late Altayeb Salih, when he wrote the majority of his texts in the land of the English. Later, Jamal Mahjoub, while travelling the world, wrote the most beautiful narration with the taste and smell of the Nile water. There, too, are the narration of Leila Abu Alela and many more male and female writers. I’m less confident of the so called (exile writing), because memory is always omnipresent and language braids the memory and imagery into a narrational articulation, that surely embodies an identity assimilated within the narrative content.

Poet cum journalist Najeeb with Dr. Alsadig

Q- What about the current translations projects, and how much it adds?

A: You are dragging me into sad situations whenever translation is mentioned, especially in (our beloved Sudan). In the surrounding Arabic world, translation has turned to active institutions that implement major successes. Human communications since the onset of history has been related with translation between various and differentiated tongues. Translation is indispensable as the approach to the other who was (alien) for centuries. Here arise the historical role of translation and its role in consolidating human affinity, and from here starts worldwide narration. My experience is very humble, but I dream in a different way to publish some texts related to Sudan, and I work upon others. Part of that dream is to see the two texts that were translated by the late Altayeb Saleh in the sixties of last century. The first text is that of Shakespearean (Macbeth), the other book is (Eichmann in Jerusalem) by Hannah Arnedt; who has done great writing about the city in one of his marvelous prose volumes. The translations of Altayeb Saleh are of particular importance, because it shed lights on parts of his narration professionalism, as most of his texts were performed during the sixties decade of the last century.

Q- There are claims of the story's demise and a future that belongs to the short novel?  

A: One cannot claim the death of a literature genre out of the blue and with such futility; neither he could announce it is the time for the novel, and adds with blind confidence that it (novel ) had exceeded poetry, or worse pronounce the death of short story . These are mere clichés and axioms circulating inside the scene without being supported by conceptual or theoretical frameworks. I think that dialectical relationship between creativity, memory, society and history will impulse different genres of writing to stand against any power through aesthetical and creational performances. And, thus, from heart of history emerges story narrations, poetry and novel..etc. In time with world novel boom and elapse of narrational prose out of European centre; the spaces for poetry and story had diminished but not receded. And though narrative novel, which controlled the scene, had come from Latin America; Poets like the Mexican Octavio Paz and Antonio Machado had dominated the full scene, and their voices penetrated different kinds of writing, no body avowed the dominance of a genre of literature on the other.

Q- What of the current poetry scene, and disinterest of public?

A: From a different point of view, I do not think that people had turned their back to poetry as you have remarked. The potential reader of aesthetical texts is looking for beauty in whatsoever absolute text. Practically, collections of poetry are abundantly available in electronic media and continue to be published and republished by printing houses. In Western Europe collections of Mawalana Gallal Aldin Alroumi and Fernando Basua are now widely distributed. This brings us again to the issue of clichés and axioms.The spirit that seeks to communicate with poetry is still alive, in spite of the potential overcrossing and harmonies within the current creational products. Nevertheless, one must indicate that the majority of novel's achievements tends to poetical intensification; there even exists what is known as poetic novel experienced by Al Massadi and Kharrat in the Arabic region. In Sudan there are Eissa Alhilu, Mohammed Khalaffalla Suleiman, Khaltoum Fadllala and Mohammed Alsadiq Alhaj.

Q- What are the most notable cultural features prevailing on the scene?

A: The more reality is complicated and the needs of life has become far reaching for humans, the more writing pot widens. What follows is inconsiderable; if the form has emanated into a poem, narrational articulation or biography ..etc.




Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...


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