No one used Na Koja Abad before Sohravardi, who wrote in both Persian and Arabic, and the usage never caught on after him, but though he does not always name it, the majority of his Sufi tales set out from or are set in this nowhere. One could say that Nowhere Land was a literary construct, brought into the real by writing, and did not exist before. One could go further: that Nowhere Land is literature’s original home, which only unfurls when literature touches reality. In its folds, Nowhere Land is a contradiction, and manifests writing’s fraught venture: creating a form for contradictions—and not solving them. It is a gamble whose fate cannot be predicted in advance: it may succeed once and it may fail and be forgotten many times over.
Haytham el-Wardany is a writer and a translator. He is the author of number of books and essays. His work has been translated into different languages. His recent writings are interested in listening, above all to speaking animals, and in inheriting the near and far past.
Banat Awa And The Missing Letters. On Fables, Politics and Hope. Alkarma, 2023.