“The Flamingo Truck” … The Anatomy of a Painful Relationship – Mahmoud Abdel Shakour

Posted on: Saturday, 28 May 2022 – 20:55 | Last Updated: Saturday, 28 May 2022 – 20:55

Nahla Karam is a special voice, an accomplished narrator, and that in her first novel, “In Freud’s Bed,” she seemed to me like another talent, not imitating or repeating, trying to present something new and not hesitated to dare. in the reading of human relations, and the relations between men and women, in particular.
This was confirmed to me in her second novel, “The Back Seats,” which expanded into many characters, revolving around volatile emotional relationships and trying to discover the meaning of love. It contains the best of the previous two novels, in addition to the ability to unravel a relationship, close to the psychological study of both sides of the relationship.
In general, it may seem that Nahla’s novels are nothing but ordinary emotional stories, but the secret of their uniqueness lies in two clear things:
first; She does not write about characters from the outside, although her novels are full of small details and have dramatic transformations and changes all the time, but it offers a good psychological study of the characters and a deeper study of social relations, so that her novels can be read as psychological portraits of different characters, men and women.
The second issue: It is this strange mixture between shocking realism and sweet romance. The heroines dream of love and seek it, but they live the reality with all its problems and frustrations. The heart is present and moves the heroines, but the body is present sometimes, as if Nahla wants to put the reader all the emotional state, and this combination is well written, like it or not, but gives her writing, which seems simple in fairy tales, depth and depth ability to ask questions that go beyond the tale, are emotional relationships using a special microscope, see beyond the behavior, whether the behavior is emotional or sexual.
In terms of history, the “flamingo deception” is an unbalanced, repeated, and failed love affair, but in terms of treatment, there is something that makes it deeper. In another country called Khaled, she wanted their relationship to end in marriage but he was not ready, then she was associated with a non-Egyptian writer living in a European country, his name is Samer, who came to Egypt to marry him, and the whole text of this painful relationship, which the narrator kept left the writing and lost self-confidence and made him give up a lot, accept insults and insults and lived in a poor state, feeling fear and helplessness.
Here is a story we may know, but the novel is not the story and its details, but it is in the analysis and deconstruction of this strange relationship, between a man who seems really sick, both in his selfishness and in his control his, and his attempt to possess those connected with him, and the writer, who admits that she too had been subjected to this mastery, but instead encouraged her, in connection with her sense of unworthiness, for specific reasons for her childhood and family, either as a result of Khaled’s refusal to marry her, or as a result of the connection of pain and humiliation in her childhood with love.
A failed love affair turns into a deep picture of self and other, and the narrator’s letters to her friend Salma become not only a storytelling in detail and dramatic fluctuations, but also an attempt to recover from the pain, an opportunity. to reflect on the reason for patience with this pain, an opportunity for self-discovery, and an analysis of Samer’s weird and bizarre personality.
Nahla’s novels always start from a very important principle related to psychology, which is the complexity and composition of the human personality, and this science remains an attempt to discover human contradictions more than anything else. Cruel, rude and poor , the narrator analyzes any oddities. behavior, even describes Samer as weak, but he has become a monster exercising his power, because of the narrator’s weakness, and as a result of her permission to do so, she is also responsible, and reading the character its turns him back. for her childhood, and for her relationship with father, mother, and brother.
The vision is greatly enhanced by this analysis and the whole text can be read as two images of two personalities from within through an emotional relationship and a study of a relationship of complete control and submission, emotionally and psychologically, in the name of love. With it, you go back to him and he feels strength again and he utilizes it to the fullest extent.
The narrator escapes from this relationship only with the help of friends, such as Amri, who plays the role of surrogate father, and through Selma, the friend who encourages the narrator to discover through letters, and through Shaima who appears when needed, and Samer’s Plan initially. was to empty the world of the narrator from friends, to be the only world that has no salvation from it.
In terms of structure, the novel begins directly with a dialogue between the narrator and Salma, which leads to letters the narrator writes to confront her story and pain, not only explaining her and Samer’s actions, but linking Samer’s actions. with the behavior of the animals, trees, and birds about which the narrator reads.
This trick gave the text additional novelty, as if our complex behavior were part of a cosmic law, in which beings bypass life, to the limits of cunning and harm, so calling these beings is an expression of selfishness, disorder, and all-encompassing control. of Samaritan. .
The heroine no longer needs to call Freud, but she confronts herself strongly and the failure of love has become a topic to restore the ability to write and live together.
The friend became a mirror, and the story was a confessional chair and a psychoanalysis session, and tried to prove the deception of the flamingo, which raises its leg to provide its energy for flight, rather than dissipating that energy into the water.
We will not give the narrator a name, but we will live and be touched by her condition and contemplate the difficult questions of life, of complex souls, and of the love that leads us to heaven and hell together.

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