The Stuck in a Sunday

Publishing House: Al-Tanweer

Publication Year: 2019

Genre: Short Stories

Number of Pages: 112

In “The Stuck in a Sunday,” Saudi author Abdullah Nasser articulates the character of modern humanity with openness to vast expanses of ideas and a capacity for imaginative experimentation. Published in 2019 by Dar Al-Tanweer. This collection of stories wraps its narrative threads like an umbrella over the reader’s head, constantly bursting with extendable and deconstructible questions about the text.

Nasser navigates through the stories with a touch of strangeness, framing his sentences and propositions in a manner contrary to the mundane, akin to entering a house through a back door, diving directly into the depths of the place without tedious introductions.

His narratives never appear ordinary. They are laden with sudden entrances into the crux of events, fulfilling the short story’s requirement of hiding the tool that pulls consciousness towards the mechanism of shaping and molding. This creates an impact in the mind, penetrating unexpected places and thereby illuminating dark corners of thought. The expected neither amazes nor excites, and Nasser’s breakthrough lies not only in beautiful language, style, or the contradiction of ideas with the usual pattern, but in all of these aspects.

Obviously, Nasser has a mischievous way of crafting compelling texts, silently entering the reader’s zone of engagement. His language subtly infiltrates the desired space, serving as a platform for bold experimentation with convictions. Here, he conducts a pouring anew, a fusion of elements that interact with the tension Nasser adeptly creates, transforming convictions into garments of varying fits.

In his story “A Neighbor’s Mix-Up,” Nasser explores the mundane event and the problem of humans repeating life patterns. He writes about neighbors accidentally switching homes and lives, leading to a new derivation in storytelling.

Additionally, this narrative construct aims to present humans to themselves anew. Highlighting how each is a copy of another, where cancellation becomes the very idea of life, turning us into identical images of each other.

In “Dali’s Hours,” Nasser condenses the human struggle with the concept of time, examining the mutual surveillance between humans and time. What makes a person constantly watch the clock? On the other side, time never fails in its count. This perpetual siege is a philosophical issue that Nasser presents, creating a cunning observation between two poles.

“Life Used” experiments with the concept of astral projection, but in a prolonged sense.

So, how can one leave their body for another to live in?

This use returns the human to introspection, separating body and personality, holding each accountable. Nasser writes about a man who always felt he was living another’s life, belonging to a different time, place, and family, even his dreams and nightmares belonged to another era.

In other stories like “The One Who Can’t Enter,” Nasser presents shocking, precisely sculpted ideas, shaping convictions with doors and courtyards. Either we reside in the courtyard or outside, ending with a new possibility – the human ignorance of their true position, inside or out.

“The Stuck in a Sunday” may be revealing half a secret. It’s both a story within this collection and the title of the entire anthology, filled with possibilities, secrets, and new narrative techniques. It pushes the reader to row through varying currents of ideas, skillfully navigated by Abdullah Nasser in about fifty short stories.

Furthermore, Nasser’s collection represents a shift in the Arab short story genre, challenging the dominance of novels. He revolutionizes the classical narrative structure, reducing locations to avoid turning the story into a diluted novel. Nasser relies on “imagined” or “non-places,” freeing the writer from geographical limitations and relying on the reader’s imagination to set the scene.

Nasser’s stories are built on existential and philosophical ideas. Regardless the importance of that that place, falls freely in this literary genre. The stories often begin with an undefined event, elevating the importance of the event over the place, and using actions to engage the reader from the very first word.

Conclusion

Abdullah Nasser’s “The Stuck in a Sunday” is a groundbreaking collection that redefines the boundaries of short storytelling, weaving complex, thought-provoking narratives that challenge and engage the reader on multiple levels.

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