Publishing House: Masciliani

Publication Year: 2021

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 173

“Trumpet” by Libyan novelist Mohamad Al-Asfar, published in 2021 by Masciliani Publishing and Distribution, with a cover design by poet Mohammed Al-Nabhan and cover art by visual artist Adnan Maetig.

The back of the novel reads:

“All weapons of war, with their ferocity and lethality, remain mute and powerless until the trumpet is sounded, erupting into discordant voices that echo with fractures in bodies. Limbs and corpses lie scattered until the trumpet’s call unites them in eternal peace.”

Harmonies of War and Peace: The Trumpet’s Dual Call

Was “Karl,” the German / “Dawud,” the Libyan, the owner of the trumpet, blowing it in the war between the Axis and Allies to scatter souls, or a messenger of peace accompanying with his playing the Psalms of David? Does music kill, or does it resurrect spirits from their slumber? Does it isolate for death, or love and peace?

The trumpet in the novel divides and unites, scattering souls with deadly blasts but uniting them with a single note. The fallen trumpet owner’s legacy lives on through the haunting melodies he leaves behind.

The events of the novel unfold in Libya and Germany in the 1940s and 1950s, revolving around war, music, love, and peace, and about Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and the German soldier “Karl,” the trumpet player in the German military band during World War II, who becomes divided into two after fleeing the battle and falling at a well. We get to know his other half, the Libyan flute player “Dawud,” and many other characters representing various facets of this narrative fragmentation and spatiotemporal transition.

Echoes of Remorse and Redemption: The Journey of the Trumpet Player

A soldier helps build a German cemetery in Tobruk for fallen comrades after fleeing the battle. He struggles with the trumpet’s dual role in comrades’ demise: signaling attack and retreat.

A Libyan shepherdess tells the German Karl, “My sheep and goats are happy with your playing, and their udders are about to burst with milk after hearing the music.”

The novel moves across several locations: Derna, Tobruk, Marsa Matruh, Sidi Barrani, El Alamein, and several German cities. Through this novel, the author aims to contribute to the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, celebrated annually in Germany.

Read More About Mohamad Al-Asfar

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