Youssef Fadel’s love and fear of writing


“The desire to write is like the desire to walk or play, and that goes back a long time, when I would read novels and play football with the guys in the neighborhood. In the beginning the novels were Egyptian and then eventually from all over.

There is a lot to say about this agitated part of my life. I filled hundreds of pages with average writing (and worked many jobs) without getting discouraged. However, there are those moments of great despair, when one has the feeling one has wasted one’s life and not achieved anything—like digging into the rock with one’s finger nails and having doubts that one is really mediocre.”

“It is difficult for me to get rid of this feeling, even today, especially when I am in the middle of writing a book and overcome with fear that I may have to start all over. It’s unbearable. Writing is like exploring a foreign country. You don’t know where you are going nor what you will encounter at every turn—a sparkling garden, a bottomless precipice, or a blocked door.”

Fadel1_2017“When all the doors close, I shut my computer and go out. Walking is the most efficient remedy to find your bearings and reconnect with your manuscript. For me inspiration comes with writing. Like a seed sower I know that those words I just sowed on my paper will produce more words much more beautiful. One has to be patient to find the word that will bear good fruit.”

“But one day there will be no more words to sow, no more words to say those things that you think are necessary. It’s depressing. But fear comes a little bit from everywhere. At any time. Fear is the daily load for all those that see, hear, and smell.”

Youssef Fadel is the author of A Beautiful White Cat Walks with Me and A Rare Blue Bird Flies with Me (Hoopoe Fiction 2016).

Posted on 08/01/2017 in FICTION Alternative History, FICTION General, FICTION Historical, FICTION Political, Literary Criticism, tagged as A Beautiful White Cat Walks with Me, A Rare Blue Bird Flies with Me, fiction, foreign, Hoopoe, translation, Youssef Fadel


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