On Rereading A Sentence In Tayeb Salih


“Everything which happened before my meeting her was a premonition; everything I did after I killed her was an apology, not for killing her, but for the lie that was my life.”

Mustafa Sa’eed in Tayeb Salih’s ’Season of Migration to the North’.

Naturally, I think of love-as-madness and of a certain type of woman. The Arabs have called this sense of things ishq, and mine is a poor translation. We have to be mad, in love, once, often, to truly have loved. The fever that starts in a limb, spirals across the body temple-wards, leaving oases at odd ripple-points. I like to love like this, I cannot love like this any more, yet love like this lurks in my heart, always.

I’m rereading this book, which I first read as a dreamer in my father’s books box, when I was about fourteen. It cast a spell on me with its language and its story. It might have also ruined me a little, though I suspect that most of all that came after was just me, haha. 🙂

I remember this line, strangely, particularly, completed it in my mind before reading it now, near two decades later.

Books. Love. Beauty. Power.

– Ra.


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