The Excavations Breathe


Publishing House: Dar Al-Saqi

Publication Year: 2002

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 192

The novel “The Excavations Breathe,” is the debut novel of Saudi writer Abdullah Al-Taezi , published in 2002 by  Dar Al-Saqi .

At the heart of the novel lies “The Excavations Breathe,” one of Mecca’s gateways to the sanctuary. I always perceive it as perpetually open to all who come burdened with sins, a window left ajar for ascent to the heavens.

The jinn used to roam freely there, leaning against its warm rocks, smiling, then reclining on the rough soil. No human would feel their presence, except for some charred bodies and dried-out skins.

The Excavations themselves resemble a large grave containing thousands of smaller graves, appearing as though they will persist in existence as long as their secrets remain concealed.

The street in the The Excavations emerges between the houses and beneath the streetlights like a delicate thread, guiding through the neighborhood from within. It traverses between the air and the sky until it reaches the horizon.

In the night of the Excavations, numerous clouds form from the words spoken throughout the day, enveloping it with a weary calm sensed by passersby.

The excavations have not changed… until now

Through the novel, Abdullah Al-Taezi leads us into the world of corpses with their various odors, their breaths dispersed in the dusty air, and their specters scattered everywhere from the beginning to the end of the narrative. Thus, it becomes difficult for the reader of this novel to find themselves, except occasionally, far removed from the language of the graveyard’s The Excavations’s memory, This language or memory leads to the horrors of death, madness, and the nightmares of dreams, as well as the bizarre relationships that make the narrative environment (the Meccan environment) represented by the environment of a town or neighborhood like “The Excavations” in the novel a terrifying, even horrifying, world for the reader.

In a study conducted by Dr. AbdulRahman bin Khalifa on the aesthetics of discourse between reality and imagination in the novel “The Excavations Breathe,”

He explains that the aesthetics of discourse lie in the relationship between reality and imagination, particularly in novels that draw their material from reality and transform it into imaginative narrative. Here, the novelist finds himself transcending the reality he honestly expressed, delving into a fantasy realm that transports the reader to another world. Additionally, he infuses new imagery from his imagination, expressing it through language, which serves as the primary means of creativity. Language is seen as an imaginative world through which the speaker can express the depths of the human psyche and depict its various facets.

Read More About Abdullah Al-Taezi

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