Fleeting Joy

Fleeting Joy by Gladys MatarCollection of short stories that revealed the most delicate social and political dilemma in our Arabic daily life.

This book is published by Naufal publication house in Beirut.


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What is so remarkable about Gladys Matar’s “Fleeting Joy” is that common string she so brilliantly managed to thread through this collection of short stories. It is a string of bitterness and pain that seems to appear and then disappear, only to appear again, throughout this work. In her unique writing style, the author so excitingly managed to bring together a clever choice of words, a rare attention to small details, along with her unquenchable thirst for search and discovery.

TishreenShe enjoys a rare knack for diving into the deeper layers of the human psyche, probing it, breathing through it and consequently feeling its pains. In this collection of short stories, through her stark awareness of the conflicts, making up the human psyche, and her understanding of man’s true aspirations versus his brutal reality, Matar managed to embody, with superb creativity, the complexity of the intellectual and psychological contrasts and make them accessible to the reader. In doing so, Matar did not seek to force her own evaluation on to her reader, but instead, she left the door wide open for him/her to make his/her own judgment…

In her short story collection “ Fleeting Joy” (page 90), Matar has managed to show the enormous ambivalence that existed between the inner moral fiber of (Rosa): The village singer, and her outer “shell”; and was able to build the events of the story upon it and according to it.

Although, Matar has paid much attention to emphasize the outward appearance of her main player, but through this emphasis, she managed to also give an accurate picture of what is taking place inside of her. “…it is pure illusion… the world is like a dying fish, thrown on a faraway, burning hot, sandy seashore… and Rosa is that fish hardened to lying about the hot seashores, outfitted with her clamorous anklets, long earrings and shinning jewelry… awaiting for “mad love” to show up…”  

Tishreen Newspaper– Damascus, Syria – 11 August 2001