At The Crossroads Of Intimacy And Audacity
Farha Noor
CHAURANGI by Julien Columeau Sanjh Publications, 2017, 128 pp., 250
October 2017, volume 41, No XLI

Julien Columeau has been critically praised for the elasticity he brings to his adopted language through his narrative style and content. Though his stories are first written in French, his natural language, he finds it similar to a Baroque painter’s exercise to transfer them to Urdu and in this translation, he recreates and rewrites his stories. In doing so, he constantly challenges the boundaries, styles and forms of Urdu as a language for narrative fiction. His first volume, Teen Novilette (published in Pakistan, 2013 and India, 2016)is an extraordinary collection of fictional biographies of the real and fictional figures of Saghar Siddiqui, Meeraji and Muneer Jafri Shaheed and is already a remarkable milestone in contemporary Urdu fiction. His second collection, Zahid Aur Do Kahaaniyaan (published in Pakistan, 2013) played dangerously with vocabulary and content, using lofty language to ironically portray the disillusionment and detachment of individuals at the edges of society.

Continue reading this review