Monday, March 04, 2013

Reader's Diary #957- Mohammad Aljarmoshi: Adolescence


"Adolescence" by Mohammad Aljarmoshi is about the narrator's attraction to a man named Fairouz. Just a chance to get as much as a glance from Fairouz...

Reading through the comments that follow the story, some seemed to suggest that the ending was supposed to be a surprise. I'm assuming that some readers didn't suspect that the narrator was a male until at the end when his name is revealed to be Adam. I'm not sure if it's that I knew the author was a male, combined with the fact that I'm Canadian, that I figured he was gay all along. (Sorry for the spoiler.) I was surprised, I suppose, to come across a story from the middle East that featured homosexuality, but certainly not shocked.

It's a shame, however, that "Adolescence" is sorely in need of editing. About four paragraphs in, it's like Aljarmoshi discovers that his keyboard has an exclamation point. From there on in, it seems like every sentence is an epiphany! Sometimes worthy of two explanation points!! This singer’s music and songs have always been associated with the morning!! Seriously? That's only worth a period. I figure that Aljarmoshi is probably trying to use the punctuation to stress the longing that Adam feels, but the editor should have recommended some restraint.

"Adolescence" also features some incredibly awkward English. I thought perhaps that the story was translated but when I couldn't find a translator credit, I grew suspicious. That's when I noticed the author's bio at the end of the story. It turns out that he has a Bachelor's degree in English Translation. Oh dear. I'm finding myself embarrassed for the writer.

"Adolescence" is about innocent infatuation, but there's a sad undertone in the longing that in all likelihood will go unrequited. If only the writing was better. The seeds of a decent story are there.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)

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