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I read several articles on the relationship between narration and history, which dealt with the structure resulting from historical chronology in a literary style. This is despite the fact that I previously touched on the same topic, but from a different perspective.
Here, we first need to know “what exactly do we want from history, and whether history will be written in the form of news or in a narrative style.”
Without distorting the objective form of the event in question, I put forward the idea in another style, such as the event is prefaced with the mention of the year, month, day and hour (if this information is available), then I address the climate and weather, describe the land of the event, the sky at the time, elements of the event, impulsivity … Here is a fictional example for better comprehension.
“On the evening of the third day of April in the year 2050, in relatively cold but sunny weather with temperatures ranging from four to five degrees Celsius, a verbal altercation rapidly turned into a physical one where light weapons were used between villagers in a tomato farm.
“This farm is located in Zone One, adjacent to District Two and close to the farms in District Three. The size of this farm where the altercation erupted is huge and it produces several agricultural crops, the most prominent of which is the tomato fruit.
“The brawl was bloody and many were injured. A number of those present made attempts to disengage the fighting villagers until the police arrived …” The end.
In the above example, all the aforementioned elements are present – timing, climate, weather, event, tools used in the event, description of the location and so forth.
In addition, we notice objectivity in style that relies on the news side and did not deal with the literal form of writing. If we want it in literal form or narrative only, the lines make it weaker in terms of content. Perhaps, the element of suspense might enter as an enticement, comparison or plot disseminated by the writer between the lines.
This is the note on historical novels that turn into acting representations for watching (series, movie, play, etc.)
My simple belief is that the two aspects are unavoidable – objectivity plus literary writing – with accurate control of the plot and literary formulation of the event in a manner which does not violate the general objectivity of the news or historical event, that is, the literary sense does not overshadow the main event, as well as the understanding and explanation of what is intended for the recipient (reader, listener, viewer).
In the recent past, literary novels appeared in fictional form, but if you examine them after reading, you find them focusing on the historic form of presentation. Indirectly, some considered it a camouflaged biography with a fictional character, while others considered it ‘indirect’ history.
Nonetheless, in both cases, it stands out that we have reasons – the most important of which are social embarrassment and legal impediments.
Concerning the aforementioned, an important question begs to be asked: Weren’t there impediments in the past such as social embarrassment or there wasn’t any competent security institution to organize decisions, directives or orders regarding highlighting or obscuring a certain historical incident?
The answer to this question will lead us to a more comprehensive horizon with more questions and answers that will be, without any doubt, historically long.
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi
Great eighth century scholar, jurist and Hadith (traditions of Prophet Muhammad, PBUH) compiler Sufyan Al-Thawri said: “When narrators use lies, we use history.”