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Flemish-Iraqi magic realism

Beauty will rage within me until the day I die

Hazim Kamaledin

Hazim Kamaledin is dead. Terrorists may have murdered him; he may have died in an American bombing. No one really knows. During the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, Hazim, with much praise, directed the award-winning film ‘Beauty will rage within me until the day I die’. In the picture, Hazim takes the mickey out of Saddam, until censorship reared its ugly head and turned the film into a corny piece of propaganda.

In his lifetime, Hazim Kamaledin didn't have many friends. Now that he's deceased, though, his friends are numerous. Just now when he's not around anymore, his family has started to argue about the location of his grave: the grave of a man who was a heretic (and left-wing, too!).

A sardonic roller coaster

‘Beauty will rage within me until the day I die’ is a wondrous novel in which Hazim Kamaledin — the author, alive and kicking — shows how fiction can transcend reality. In the world of this book, everything is returned to ashes by warfare. Everything, except for the memory of what once was humanity and the sense of humor that Hazim Kamaledin uses to describe the fate of his deceased doppelgänger.

The poetic lines are like caresses, the magic-realist dimension fires the imagination and the realistic torture scenes do what they’re supposed to do: move us