Quotable: Ahdaf Soueif

If you’ve sat for baccalaureate exams anywhere in the Arab world, this little passage from Ahdaf Soueif’s In the Eye of the Sun will bring about a bout of nostalgia (or perhaps panic, depending on your grammar skills):

The afternoon is the time for memorising and the morning the time for brainwork. Not that there is much brainwork to any of this. Arabic grammar is about the only thing that can count as brainwork, parsing sentences: the Deed, the Doer, and the Done-To; the Added and the Added-To; the Attribute and the State; the Circumstance of Time and Place and, most problematic of all: the Built upon the Unknown, in which the logical Done-To assumes the form and function of the Doer. These have to be worked out.

When is Soueif coming out with a new novel? It’s been almost ten years since the last one.

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