Kazim Ali NEWS
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In Kazim Ali’s wildly inventive novel The Secret Room, written as musical score for a string quartet, he asks: How does one create a life of meaning in the face of loneliness and alienation from one’s own family, culture, or even sense of self? During the space of one single day, the lives of four people converge and diverge in ways they themselves may not even measure.
Sonia Chang, a violinist prepares for a concert. Rizwan Syed, a yoga teacher who gives so much to others, makes one last panicked attempt at reconciliation with his own family. Jody Merchant tries to balance a difficult and stressful work-life with a dream she abandoned long ago. Pratap Patel trudges through his life trying to ignore the pain he still feels at old losses.
Just like the real musical quality of a string quartet, these four characters weave in and out of one another’s experiences in a raw, fluid song that mimics the hidden lives that exist within us all.
“Here are new organizing principles; to allow ourselves to be organized by music; to be scored. This is a text that suggests not to worry about how to read it. Rather, it extends an invitation to allow the text to happen with us (and/or for us to happen with the text), and this is a Revolutionary Hermeneutics: to open to the experiences of pain and awe. Text as ambient drift we can move through (the same space where healing and magic happens). The way a line divines another, a voice divines a voice, and the emergent conversation, and how this conversation is a hidden music, the music we have been waiting for.”
– Selah Saterstrom, author of Slab and Ideal Suggestions: Essays in Divinatory Poetics