Saturday, April 08, 2006

Convenience over Truth

Waguih Ghali gives us an interesting explanation of why the Left supports Nasser in his 1964 novel Beer in the Snooker Club :

We all drank beer in pints. Edna had already explained that if I were offered a beer in England, I must buy a round later on. I enjoyed carrying the glasses to the bar and saying:

'Four pints of bitter, please.'

'Brenda,' I asked, 'are you really a member of the Communist party?'

'Really?' she smiled. 'Yes, I am. I have been since I was fifteen.'

'What do you think of Nasser?'

'Here's to Nasser,' she said and drank her beer.

'And yet,' I said, 'how can you drink to the health of someone who imprisons communists?'

She didn't hesitate: 'I drink to anyone who deals imperialism a blow.'

'That's typical! That's why I left the Party. Harry Pollit tells you to support Nasser, so you do.'

'John dear, I know precisely why you left the Party.' She possessed a type of calm reminiscent of Edna.

'I gave the correct reason for leaving the Party.'

'Correct, but not true.'

'Ha! You make a difference between correct and true? Exactly why I left the Party. The ''correct'' tactics and propaganda had nothing to do with the truth.'

10 comments:

forsoothsayer said...

don't u love that book? that poor man was so unappreciated when he was alive.

Alaa said...

great book isn't it?

Tomanbay said...

yeah..great book...but quotation taken out of context...he was really stating a correct but untrue explaination...can't see how this gives an explaination of why the left supports Nasser!

The Sandmonkey said...

I never read that book. Maybe I should check it out!

Seneferu said...

Yes it is a great book, you should read it Sam. Have you guys read After a Funeral about Ghali? I still haven't.

Toman, I think it gives a perfect explanation for this, and the rest of story is consistent with this (don't ruin it for others).

Seneferu said...

Alaa, can you please put a leash on anissa Iman Badawy "Yankees stay in Iraq and get killed", if you happen to know her? I apologize on my part for my initial insults, but insults in context of an argument are one thing which shouldn't be taken personally, and her veiled threats against my person is something completely different. So not cool:-)

Anonymous said...

Great book, i agree. I came over it accidentaly in a leftist bookshop in Norway 3 years ago. Couldn't stop once i started reading it.
Was it ever published in arabic? Nobody i knew ever heard about Ghali.
Anyway i think communist's being in love with Nasser even though he locked them up, tortured them (together with everybody that dealt with politics) is just perversion.

forsoothsayer said...

it's actually assigned to most AUC kids - there's like a checklist of anglo egyptian literature u can't wiggle out of.

Doubting Thomas said...

This has to do with your previous post seneferu: Make a time limit and a constricted list of things you do online. It's easy to just keep on clicking, sort of like letting one more potato chip into your mouth, and then another...pretty soon you've spent three or four hours online. Make a plan, say, you'll read one site, one blog, leave one comment, and make one post, then get offline and do something else. (You're my blog and comment for the day :) Lucky you?

Seneferu said...

Thomas, thanks for the tip.

anonymous, I agree. I don't know if it was published in Arabic.

Forsooth, I'm not sure if it's a good idea to force books on people. What do you think?