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Presentation of “The Incense Burner” and “Flight of Seagulls” by Omar Berrada

March 06, 20187:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
In French, with simultaneous translation into Spanish.

With the particpation of Omar Berrada: Painter, sculptor and author of the book; and Paloma Monsonís: A professor of Spanish and translator. 

“The incense burner is the instrument in which we burn a substance considered to be a conjurer of misfortune. It is also used to perfume, to honor and to express oftentimes excessive flattery. My incense burner is the anti-incense burner: it is focused on a part of our society, lifting a spiral over what we share in our everyday lives and the difficulties it has just to exist. I have attempted to write this with a touch of humor, and above all with neither complacence about human suffering nor overstated pity.” These are the words which the author uses to describe his first novel.

Translated into Spanish by Paloma Monsonís as “El incensario” and “Vuelo de gaviotas,” they portray Moroccan reality with both its lights and shadows, placing an emphasis on the disowned, people who live in extreme poverty. Omar Berrada describes their everyday life with talent and a touch of humor, and he does so using language that is, at the same time, poetic and heart-wrenching, almost mystical, combining an extraordinary wealth of nuance, images and traditional expressions. This style all his own, both elaborate and ruthless, makes his novels a suggestive narrative and aesthetic experience for readers.
Omar Berrada (Fez, 1952). A Moroccan writer who expresses himself in the French language, as well as a painter and sculptor, Berrada is also a great lover of Arab-Andalusi music.
His pictorial work reflects his attraction to the mystical and the subconscious, probably as a result of an influence by painters like Miró, Dalí, Saladi and Munch, and his epic readings.
His works include: L’Encensoir (“The Incense Burner,” La Croisée des Chemins, Casablanca 2011), nominated for the second edition of the La Mamounia Literary Awards and translated into Spanish (by Editorial Germania, Valencia 2014), Tête de Serpent, (“Snake’s Head,” Editorial Marsam, Casablanca 2013) and Vol de goélands, (“Seagull’s Flight,” Editorial Marsam, Casablanca 2015), translated into Spanish (Editorial ADD, Valencia 2016 and the Instituto de Estudios Hispano-Lusos. Université Mohamed V, Rabat 2017) with a translation into Arabic currently under way.
Presentation of “The Incense Burner” and “Flight of Seagulls” by Omar Berrada