EgypToz: The Reader

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Reader

My relationship with Bernhard Schlink's "The Reader" started 3 years after the book was first published...I still remember the day when the teacher introduced this book in the classroom...we pupils were all so eager to know what it is all about...she refused to tell us anything about it and gave each one of us a copy and one week to finish reading it...well I finished it in 2 days...and what an experience it was...it was a wholly new territory for me...and there was a specific chapter in this novel that sums the same feeling I had towards my teacher...I loved my teacher...and my teacher loved me...there was a sort of chemistry between the two of us...nobody in the class knew about it...she was always asking me about my opinion after the lectures...and about new creative ways of education...she even gave me the opportunity to teach my fellow classmates...and each time I received the marks of my exams I had the chance to discuss it with her...she liked the way I argued with her...she always liked my arguments in the class...I could see the appreciation in her beautiful face...this relationship lasted for maybe 2 years or more...she invited me to her house one night in Agouza...when I entered her apartment I was surprised to see the whole room lightened by candles...it gave me this sweet warm feeling inside...especially the Jazz music I was hearing in the background...what a night to remember...I saw the picture of her boyfriend...I was so angry inside...I envied him...because he is older than me...my graduation exam was about this novel...I was fully prepared...it was one of the longest exams I have ever had in my whole life...ten hours in a room...the novel in my hand...more than 50 empty papers on my desk...sandwiches...a bottle of water...and one question...it was about a chapter in the book when the storyteller Michael meets his father...I don't exactly remember the question...but I had to analyze and interpret the whole chapter...I really enjoyed studying this book...and I learned a lot from it...but I was sad that my teacher was leaving Egypt to return to her home country...the last time I met her was in Marriott hotel in Zamalek...we had a nice chat with Earl Grey tea and this was when the only and last time she gave me a kiss on my cheek.I don't want to remember all the problems I had back then because of this...El-Azhar wanted to ban this novel from our school...and someone even wanted to file a lawsuit against our director because he let this novel to be taught in our classrooms...how could a novel like that enter a school in Cairo...a city that cherishes tradition and religion...parents were actually confused...some were open minded and thought it was a step in the progress of enlightenment...others thought it was a plan from foreign organizations to destroy the morality of our children...my classmates were also unhappy with the special way my teacher was treating me...some guessed there was something between the two of us...and the rumor spread in the school...I didn't care...I was happy.5 years ago...when I was staying in a city in Europe for some work...a square in down town seemed familiar...I was sure I have seen it before…somewhere in my life...and then I remembered that this place was similar to the original cover art of the novel...and one day while having dinner with some old friends there...one girl asked me about my favorite books...I mentioned "The Reader"...and then she asked me if I knew that this city is the location where the real events of the novel took place...I could not believe it...I did not know that it was based on true events…I returned to the square...and walked down the street...and revived all the chapters in the book...in details...it was a wonderful experience...it took the story to a new level...it captured my heart...and I missed my teacher so much.This year I was thrilled to know that a feature film of the novel was being made...after it gained so much fame from being in Oprah's Book Club list…and I was so happy to know that one of my favorite directors will do this adventures step...Stephen Daldry who also directed "Billy Elliot" and "The Hours"...and I couldn't be more happy after seeing one of the most talented young actresses in Hollywood taking the leading role...Kate Winslet will play Hanna...replacing pregnant Nicole Kidman…but I was a little worried after hearing that some people who saw a test screening of the unfinished film were confused with the end result...many thought the movie was disjointed...others could not know what the film wanted to say...well...I have to wait till December to know...and I hope I will not be disappointed...because somehow I feel this novel has become part of me...and I feel responsible to make this upcoming film win an Oscar.

1 comment:

مياسي said...

hey
thnx for this is the first one who introduced the novel as far as i know

i enjoyed reading this as i enjoyed watching the movie:)