Lead or be led, ur call!

June 19, 2008 at 9:30 am 21 comments

I met this guy I knew back in 2005 yesterday evening. I was getting off a taxi, and he was getting on. After exchanging the usual greetings, he asked what that book I had in my hand was. I obliged, by showing it to him. One look at it, and he went “ich!!” – disgustedly.

“What’s up?” I asked, amused.
“It’s so fake!”, he said
“Oh yeah?” I continued in my amusement “Have you read it?”
“I’ve seen it”, he muttered “and I know it’s all fake”.
“Because it’s fake!” he repeated “both ‘Addis Admass’ and ‘Addis Neger’ have been saying as much” (or words to that effect)

If I didn’t have so much respect for this guy, and his book knowledge, I would have dismissed his reply as the typical [Ethiopian] response people give on issues they know nothing about, but would like to appear well informed on. Unless, that is, the response/reply is believed to be a public knowledge (or, more importantly, opinion) you aren’t supposed to question unless you want every AddisAbebe in their circle to treat you with the careful detachment it reserves to either “YeMenGist Degafiwoch” (which translates as sell out or “banda”) or “yeTigray tewelaj” (which means you are a supporter by default and political discussions over coffee are off limits to you, even if the coffee isn’t). Questions like: “Why do you hate Meles Zenawi so much?”, “How can Ex-Minister of Education Genet Zewdie do everything you are claiming she did?” and/or “What made you think Solomon Shumye’s weekly ‘Shai Buna’ has an EPRDF agenda?”.

Still, I didn’t want to believe this guy wasn’t any different. He’s smart, young, and well-read. Even got a column all for himself on an up-and-coming weekly newspaper & rolls with those, I am convinced, encourage you to be a man of your own (intelligence wise). The last person, so to say, you’d think as being born to play second fiddle to people with big names. Granted that appearances can be deceiving!.

But … like I said .. he’s quite young. Will probably grow out of it and learn to make an opinion all by himself some day. And may even realize “I don’t know” isn’t nearly as bad as looking ridiculous wearing an ill-fitting idea tailored by/for somebody else. (*abesheet pleads guilty to all the charges* ;))

The book I had in my hand was “Sebhat GebreEgziabher: Hiwotina Kihlot” (Mahlet Publishers/2000 E.C.) by Alemayehu Gelagay. A man who proclaimed at the outset what made him decide to write the book is the neglect with which Sebhat’s works has been treated in the past and the various attacks the writer has been getting from individuals and orgs.

Or, in his own words:

In it, there are claims, evidences and proclamations. Some of them shocking, others annoying in their blind devotion to the point of ridiculous and still others pretty convincing – by the sound of them. Like I told a friend a few days ago, I am the last person you’d find party to the “Sebhat Teketayoch” Gora. Won’t be caught dead in it, as they say. Still, there is no denying Alemayehu Gelagay’s wonderfully written attempt at “Qitir mafress” – as the folks at “Addis Neger” called it – claiming, among others, that Beaalu Girma has stolen story lines/character “qeRetsa”s/expressions and even “terets” from the Aboy without acknowledgement, won’t sound so ridiculous by the time you finish reading the book.

Which is why I invite you to read it. So you can form an opinion of your own on it!

Go here to read one of my favorite Instructor’s comment on the book and Alemayehu Gelagay’s reply to it on Addis Admass Newspaper.

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“Sex” beAmarigna! Luck of the Have-nots

21 Comments Add your own

  • 1. spacefog  |  June 19, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    I have a couple of things to say here

    I think Sebhat is a great writer. I don´t like the idea of purposive wirting where the writer is destined to save the world with his/her educative conclusions. People can write about feelings (honest writers do tht). It happned that Sebhat is obessed with sex and he is open about his obession. This shouldn´t say anything about his writing skills. Anybody who has read ´Tikusat´ would understand that.

    That being said ,I have read ´ Lady Charlotte´s lover´ I really don´t see the connection with Sebhat´s writings.

    Gezahagn has pretty critical questions there. I don´t see the need to smearing names of great writers such as Behalu to make Sebhat look good. And also has anybody asked Sebhat about the plagarism issue. The guy is still alive somebody should ask him if he feels behalu cpoied him ….

    All said I agree with Alemayehu ,I too feel sorry for:
    1. Amharic literature and its professors who can´t translate a paragraph very well.
    2. Its critics who can not see beyond the personality of the writer.Its never about the writing or the book.
    3.its writers who can´t take criticims and always focus on the personality of their critic. It either because the person doesn´t like them or they don´t know what they are talking about .

    I feel sorry!

  • 2. spacefog  |  June 19, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    One more sorry book title should read ´Lady Chatterley´s Lover´

  • […] Comment on Lead or be led, ur call! by spacefog The guy is still alive somebody should ask him if he feels behalu … 2. Its critics who can not see beyond the personality of the writer.Its never […]

  • 4. Dr. Ethiopia  |  June 19, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Feeling so dumb and on a guy as popular as Sibhat. I have always been the type who ran away from Amrigna novels, or texts, when i was young. And the ones i read are very much forgotten and forever erased from my memory.

    I think what i am saying is, Abesheet you should make an arrangement for me to get some Amharic history and texts and novels and all that.

    Sorry i had to say this and it has nothing to do with the post at hand, but i feel so jealous and i wanted to tell y’all that. 🙂

  • 5. abesheet  |  June 20, 2008 at 6:09 am

    I hear you, spacefog. I ain’t crazy about Sebhat, the man, either. But i see that separately from Sebhat the writer. Which is why i enjoy reading every piece of non-fiction work he ever wrote (have even bought some of them). From his novel/novellas, i only read “LeTum Aynegalign”, which turned (as i wrote somewhere else) one too many ;).

    I don’t like the idea of literature “maStemar and MaQinat”, either. But I’m sure there is more to naturalism than jerking off. Still, after reading the above mentioned book, i’ve started seeing Sebhat as the victim, instead of the perpetrator, of his own obsession. It’s cost him more than it did the Ethiopian literature (and that it has)!

    Regarding Gezahegn’s comment, I love the man. He’s one of my favorite “fun” instructors (who should perhaps show more for class ;)). And Alemayehu Gelgay has made some declarations about Sebhat that makes you wonder if he’s saying them to piss everybody off or really believing what he’s saying. However, I don’t think Alemayehu Gelagay could have stepped over the Beaalu Girma issue to make his real point: that Sebhat is the forerunner of Modern Ethiopian literature and he’s been done wrong. You’d understand what I mean when you read the book. I gotta tell you, the “evidences” look pretty convincing. Unless someone showed up declaring Sebhat’s books were written AFTER Beaalu Girma has his published, the claims of plagiarism stand. Not just because you find similar characters, story lines or expressions in both books. But because Beaalu’s sound inferior & underdeveloped to that of Sebhat’s.

    Now, i’m gonne ask something that you aren’t gonne like. But it has to be asked by someone. WHY are we afraid to admit that Beaalu Girma isn’t as perfect as we thought him to be? (I certainly never did, but I can see where it comes from). Sebhat has been called all sorts of names and nobody asked why. Which i can understand. Beaalu, “the golden boy of Ethiopia’s literature”, on the other hand, have all sorts of tebaQas and AbuKatos defending him even when you mention the obvious: that he was a Dergue supporter and used his writing to even justify “Qey Shibir” (this is something i noticed when i was about 14, reading YeQey Kokeb Tiri). I’m not judging him. No way! But what are we trying to serve by denying the truth? He doesn’t have to be perfect for us to love him and acknowledge he’s one of the best Ethiopian writers of his time. Unless we are unable to love him with his guDlets. Or, is it, because he died “for our cause” and we feel we owe him our unquestioning devotion? Or is it because “muut silemayweQes”?

    Please understand that i’m not being neither here nor there. I’m not saying Alemayehu’s claims are 100% true. But I’m not going to “maTaTal” them out of what seems like an unreasonable devotion. I am not capable of that, and neither should any of us.

    BeMecheresha, please read it! And then we can really discuss!

    P.S. ‘Lady Charlotte’s Letter’ was mentioned to show how some of the books labeled “baLege” and forbidden from publishing aren’t really about “bilGina”, instead, mostly politics. And because the writer has to wait for 32 years to see the fruit of his pen (as did Sebhat – 33 in his case, I think!) at which time he was dead (while fortunately Sebhat n’t 😉 ). That’s all!

  • 6. spacefog  |  June 20, 2008 at 7:06 am

    Obviously I am talking about a book I haven´t read. I was just commenting based on the exchanges on Admas. Either ways, smearing other writers to make one person look good can not be acceptable. It will be one of the books I will check out the next time I am in Addis.

    From the Admas article ,Alemayehu guy sounded a little jumpy. I know gezahagn he is good in what he does.

    Anyhow ,things I don´t agree with
    1. I don´t agree with the idea that Sibhat is a victim or a perpetrator of any thing. He is just a writer who is well read, honest about his feelings and whom people built a cult around. May not benefit financially out of writing but he was at least abel to say ´F. Off´ to the system and has lived his life the way he wanted .

    2. As for Behaly ,I think he is a great writer too. I like Oromay much more than Keadmas Bashager. He was supporting the system but what the heck so did other writers. Debebe seifu , agreat poet but…I can name a number of others. I think people (especially those in the litterary circle) should stop romaticizing writers. Its just another profession and of course, people are not perfect they make mistakes.

    I will quote a great poet Solomon Deressa here .He once was asked about something he wrote a year ago. He said ´´don´t expect me to have the same thinking as last year. I am human ,I learn knew things everyday and change. What I write is what I know about at the moment´´

    Or sth like that
    Sorry for the long post ,I hate doing that.

  • 7. abesheet  |  June 20, 2008 at 8:39 am

    I love long posts, spacefog. So don’t worry about it.

    I agree with part of your point number 1. Sebhat has a following and some may consider that as “not to shabby”, even if i heard he does more damage than good in them circles. But that’s just a rumor. Still, being an individual who has submitted the draft of her first novel-to-be, i don’t think there is anything more painful to a man who does writing for a living than having THREE of his books not published. And imagine, according to the book atleast, all the “huHa” Beaalu Girma was getting, a writer who might not have been as good as him. Worse, a write who isn’t an enemy, but a friend!

    2nd point: I don’t think it’s ethical to judge a writer’s attitude of more than 30 years ago. I’ve read “YeBirhan Fikir” (both 1 & 2) and still love Debebe Seifu. Yet, we can judge those who are trying to hush us up or keep insisting “that wasn’t what he is trying to do”. That’s what i said in my previous comment.

    Finally, i’d like to point out again that Alemayehu Gelagay didn’t sound as if he was trying to smear Beaalu’s name in his book. He did say a couple of things that might translate as “smearing” as they sound pretty sneaky & quite mean. But, like i said, you can’t help not saying them if you gotta tell the whole story. Which is: Beaalu has been taking stuff from Sebhat and hasn’t been acknowledging him as the source (of atleast inspiration). Not only that, he seems to have purposely tried to have Sebhat nowhere near the places he’s having interviews in. But what else is Alemayehu Gelagay supposed to say if that is indeed what happened? LIE?! WHY?!

  • 8. spacefog  |  June 20, 2008 at 9:00 am

    I was thinking the same thing about Sibehat. I have never heared him saying anything negative about Behalu. Even when he was asked Abera from Kadams bashager was his representation.

    So if indeed Behalu copied him ,why didn´t he say anything so far?

    And how about all the years after the death of Behalu ,why wouldn´t Sebhat´s works came out?

    There were other works of Sebhat like Amist Sidist Sebat who got published and had a lot of readership..Why did this got more precedent over the other books?
    I think the reason is sebhat wanted to talk openly about sex,which the ethiopian society was not ready. And also the political system at the time may consider such writings imperialist.

    You know what ,if you know Demisse (Zemen´s editor) just ask him he would know about this copying stuff.

  • 9. sistu  |  June 20, 2008 at 9:06 am

    I don’t know if my IQ tebiYEw has taken a hit in the past days, but i had a hard time following the topic here. Maybe its the sight of that “literature”, who knows. deginetu, i did see some words, phrases and ideas that i am ready to jof-malet on (jofe Amoraw on youtube, anybody?):

    Sibhat or, as my mother might call him-had she ever had the need to talk about him, ya kiletam shimagiLE: I think the thing about any work done on/by him is that it probably shouldn’t be viewed separately from his personality. I haven’t heard of them yet but i suspect that there to be a few i-want-to-be-Sibhats who shouldn’t be allowed to be Sibhat kemeret tenestew without having his personality (maninetachewin alemawekE ought not stop me from accusing them here). Meaning, not everybody should be allowed to write sid-nibabs (can and will use the word in this context like God intended) and expect us to forgive them when we find out that they are anget-defee chewawoch who don’t practice what they preach like that accomplished azawint. Its like what somebody once said of Ethiopian rap (was it you, abesheet?): bona fide yebet lijoch shouldn’t be allowed to rap. So if a personality/identity disqualifies the artist from creating a certain art, then does that make the artist’s identity/personality an important part of the art? gud bel gondar, i am doing literature-speak.

    Yam hone yih (don’t know what the yam and yih are in this case), as i may have already said, Mastawesha (?) is one of my favorite books ever (english or amharic). Now since Sibhat himself didn’t write it and i still liked it, it could possibly mean that i like the sibhat that i read about in the book (i don’t, btw). it could just be that sailor did a heck of a job writing it… which brings me to a topic…why do i get the feeling that Sibhat has become a hot commodity [to write about]? bekumu iyale, minew? why not give him a chance to finish his run on this earth and THEN write about him, hulun teklel argo… after all he may yet become a plagiarizer, plagiarizee. I am not convinced by the rationale given for writing the book. Btw, what does Sibhat say about the book? I think he talks a bit about Be’alu in Mastawesha but I don’t remember him making any plagiarism claims.

    Be’alu or, mr. qey shibir (as a matter of curiosity, was he not himself a victim of qey shibir after writing Oromay? I thought so, but i am not so sure): my high regard for him is bound to stay intact unless Alex, Alemayehu argues that Sibhat was the original creator of Fiameta Geelai or Tinishua nebelbal (i, too, loved Oromay spacefog. and apparently know my Oromay glossary, thank you very much)

    One last note about the book: I had an uncle named gelagay… I am sure his kids are giddy with desta at the knowledge that they are not the only ones stuck with that affliction of a last name. So, thank you alemayehu for making that name public.

    As for Lady Chatterly’s Lover, after Sons and Lovers D. H. Lawerence, like Dostoevsky, bafinchaYE yiwta. There should be a fine imposed on books that do not deliver on the promises of their titles. Some of us still judge a book by its cover on which we expect to see a telling title. indeem Lover yelem… u’u’tE.

    spacefog, you hate long posts? lemin? and since i haven’t been taught much in the way of identifying the right geezey’na bota for some questions, why “spacefog” (the name)

    Finally, Dr. E., that explains much. Anyways, again, not knowing geezey’na bota, i have a question for you as well. Was reading your first love, first kiss first hule-menaYE story and found something that will inkilf-mensat me: so you went to visit the girl for a weekend? how? was she not outside Ethiopia? you had a weekend ticket? please post the ans on your page if you can… It has really been bugging me for a few hours now.

  • 10. abesheet  |  June 20, 2008 at 9:22 am

    (abesheet hates seeing her name in the column “redff”, since she feels it discourages others from replying).

    Still… Spacefog…

    Sebhat hasn’t been saying much why he hasn’t come up with a novella after the three got rejected. But it’s like you said. He sees life, atleast in his novellas, a certain was and knows nobody is gonne publish it. (I’ll post a comment i posted on habeshafriends under here so you can see my point of view on Sebhat: the person. Not that you can talk about the one without touching on the other, as sistu said).

    Why he didn’t say anything regarding Beaalu’s “plagarizing” part of his work isn’t mentioned in the Book. But perhaps it was modesty (the guy was his friend, after all; and he’s even allowed him to take some stuff – only Beaalu didn’t acknowledge the source). And maybe because nobody would have believed him at the time! Or … it’s only Alemayehu Gelagay who wanted that out in the open. His arguments weren’t “Sebhat told me Beaalu did this and that”, he just incorporated some of Sebhat’s comments (regarding discussing his work with Beaalu, or the thing he allowed him to take), with his “study” between the writings. Have you noticed that Sebhat doesn’t say much to retaliate when ppl call him names (deservingly, sometimes)? Maybe that’s the sort of person he is. He either holds his grievences to himself and lets them die out on their own or doesn’t care!

    Here is the stuff i posted at habeshafriends in answer to a friend’s question

    What I don’t like about “LeTum Aynegalign”…?

    Well… I had a preconceived idea what Sebhat’s writing would be like before I started reading the book: that he holds his pen with one hand, while “malmesmesing” his thingy with the other (talk about naturalism ;)). Which usually makes you look for “guDlets” instead of “muLats”, not helping in your reading! Still, I think i hated the way the writer saw the world more than his attitude towards sex. It’s like having a Bole Lij try to show there is no life outside a disco bet, and his worst fear is walking out and face the cold. I’m sure that book would be of interest to Freudians or ppl who make a living in the study of societal relations bla bla. Not to me!!! I don’t envy his ignorance, but please get a life. That’s what i’d say to him. And that’s what “LeTum Aynegalign” made me feel. Ofcourse there is a theme: Old age. That’s what Sebhat said in Alemayehu’s book too. But why are these people obsessively afraid of getting old? Because they won’t be able to enjoy “wube Bereha” as much as they are doing now. That’s it. Shallow ppl with their shallow fears! And the writer, instead of mocking it (or proving it to us that life isn’t all about “nore” ena “mote”; that it neither is that desperate nor we that helpless), seems to think they are right. You can tell this by the fact that the story doesn’t seem interested in its characters (as individuals, everyday ppl, part of the society) the minute they left Wube Bereha. It’s as if it’s mad at them for “deserting it”.. going after other (some would say, bigger/nobler) pursuits. It’s wube Bereha wayim mot!! F**k or be f**ked, for tomorrow we shall die.

    Lol. No doubt there is some truth in it. It may appear to be the only truth when you are horny. Yet ppl rape their children at such times. Do all sorts of irreasonable things they won’t have done under normal cirs. So.. are we going to justify that, too? Aren’t those things that “matter” when you aren’t horny part of life as well?! That’s what is lacking there, the way i see it!.

    Still, a writer has every right to write the world as he saw it or fit. That’s what makes a book individualistic and one among many. But I, the reader, has every right to reject it or think it’s a shallow work from a shallow individual (even if that individual knows how to capture reality and sometimes gain our sympathy through characters like “TiL-ahun” ;)! (Remember the argument wasn’t “Sebhat can’t write well”. It’s “Sebhat needs a wake up call if he wants us to continue reading him”). And [name of questioner] have every right not to think so ;). That’s all i can remember, been atleast 7 years since i read it!

  • 11. winta  |  June 20, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Okey ,I see soemthing crazy in this argument. If I am a writer .I write because I want to say something,the way I want it and how I want to say it. I really don’t give a rat’s a$$ if people read it or not!!!

    Some will like it ,others won’t.

    Seriously , as my good friend ones said the masses are a$$es . people will always have their own outlook to life. a writer shouldn’t expect a lot from people. If I cherishe my night club moments and want to write about them, who cares if Abesheet likes it or not. I have said what I want and that’s it!

    Okey about the modesty thing ……….Well ,come onnnnnnnn ..you will have to do better than that. Modest isn’t something sebhat is. He is a person who tells a room full of ppl to ” F. off” ,literally. Why would he have a problem talking about plagarism.

    Anyhow I think the writer should have incorporated ppl’s view on that…..its a short length to go for the serious allegations he made.
    Anyhow, IMHO, we have a country where ppl live with Difret.
    I will have something to say about the book when I read it.

    As I said when you have a coffee break next time,just drop by Demissie’s office ,introduce yourself and ask him about this stuff.

  • 12. spacefog  |  June 20, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    sorry ,the name thing up again . I am sure you understand wht I mean

  • 13. Tsegaye  |  June 20, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Wow. So many people up for discussing books! I am so happy about that.

    1. I’ve read Letum aynegalign and TIkusat (Partially) and I find that the content of sex is over exaggerated. Especially Tikusat has been a disappointment as far as those allegations.

    2. In Letum Aynegalign Sibihat used Wube BEreha as e vehicle to connect all sorts of people from different walks of life. Through that location their lives are expressed in the passage of time. Real people and real emotions. I’ve found the emphasis of that book was humanity and life as a whole (in a settle manner) than sex. Mind you, I read this book without any preconception about the writer or his previous works. I didn’t even know who he was when I picked up Letumj Aynegalign.

    3. The accusations of Bealu Girma taking from Sibihat with….especially plagiarism is pretty serious for me. NO I haven’t read the book in discussion so I don’t know what’s the evidence. But I hope this writer has some serious stuff to back his accusation up. I’ve known Bealu’s stories consistent in style as well as uinq. That’s why it is difficult to believe for me.

    Perhaps Abesheet would grace us with couple of examples in part II of this topic?…until we get the book of course.

  • 14. sira salata  |  June 21, 2008 at 1:24 am

    For sure, the post was a kind of tough, or needs a knowledge on ethiopian litrature. However, everyone needs to discuss of it. I was thinking not to comment, coz I know a little of the stuff as a whole. But I get jealous when u guys show ur mind. so if u don’t mind, let me add a layman comment on it….

    1. I read some books of Sebhat. I totally disagree with the idea that his books reflect nothing much more than sex . I don’t expect a litrature to be a lesson or something that the youth could learn from it. still remember after I started ‘tikusat’, I couldn’t even want to have a break before finishing it. Even his books have more deep realities than sex…..like revolution, the ‘ wetatinet ‘ and their powers. So for me his work is cool…but I can’t judge Sibhat to be the top one in Ethiopia’s litrature….nor can I say he is not one of the heroes who really contribute much with that respect.
    2. On what I see from the instructor and Alemayehu
    When I read Alemayehu’s reply….I was asking, is this guy replying to a comment made to his book or is he trying to show his book is above the potential of Mr Gezahegn???? I did see much of his focus were ike ‘ Yenante gize alfoal ahun egna metenal’, it’s more shouting than defending. As if he did a miracle and the instructor was something else…..under his qualities.
    Even if he writes something too nice( does he? how is the book by the way?), I don’t expect him replying that for the comment made. It is more of an insult.
    3. About the the things related with Sibhat and Bealu,
    Before 8 years or so, I read ‘Tikusat’ and ‘ Yeqey kokob tiri ‘ consecutively….I was really amazed that there were some similarities in Charcter and expression. I even write some of them. I believe there is something between the two writers, may be copying or sharing too many things in common, don’t know?……and it is not that deep to let me conclude anything….
    4. I just comment on the issue for participation……it’s too tough for me. Anyhow thanks for the post, Abe.

  • 15. shikur  |  September 30, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Sebhat corrupts the minds of innocent ethiopians by his incidiery words! I don’t love him for his trush words! He is like a kid! Any kid can write that! He is baseless! May be he is suffering from Alzhiemer’s disease!

  • 16. Inem  |  December 12, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Did Bealu plagiarise or he had the blessings of Sebhat to use his characters? Lets take the death fearing noble man Agafari and his asadaj QoriT as an example. The chase/gibgib between agafari Endashaw and QoriT depicted in Bealu’s Derasiw highly resembles the ones described in Sebhat’s yadisaba teretoch, which used to be published on a magazine way before Derasiw got published. In Derasiw, the language and tone describing this tininiq is typical of Bealu, neverthless it is impossible not to notice that the writer has derived the story line, plot and characters entirely from Sebhat’s yadisaba teretoch. Why would then Sebhat did not protest if indeed there was outright plagiarism of his original works? When Derasiw was published reviewers did not fail to mention that the protagonist was modeled after Sebhat. I remember reading somewhere also that Sebhat and Bealu were in contact during the writing of Derasiw and asked if he can use him in his novels. I don’t think Alemayehu Gelagay need to go as far as demonizing Bealu to make his major point, which I agree, that Sebhat was the pioneer in modern amharic literature.
    Though I agreed with Abesheet “the reader, has every right to reject it ” , I totally agree with what Tsegaye succintly put in his comment #2 and sara sista’s comment #1 on Letum aynegalign. I think it is much more than wube bereha and the sex and I did not read it while malemsmesing my thingy…that was good one abesheet, thoguh the rumours about Sebhat’s prolific sex life , and the serious issues his novel/novellas contain do not depict a man who is likely indulge in self fondling.

  • 17. abesheet  |  December 12, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    I think it is much more than wube bereha and the sex and I did not read it while malemsmesing my thingy…

    Did i say that? I didn’t, did i? Oh my God! I need my smelling salt!

    Seriously though, I think sistu is right. The ‘tejj’ is doing us more harm than good.

    Regarding your question:

    Why would then Sebhat did not protest if indeed there was outright plagiarism of his original works?

    The answer, i believe, can be found in the type of person Bealu Girma probably was and who Aboy Sebhat is. BeQumu sinayew: Bealu was a drop-dead gorgeous writer with a successful career and winning personality. His superiors, from what i can understand, swore by him.

    Sebhat.. well .. Sebhat is the type of guy only God and his mother could love. He’ll probably look like a graceless loser in the face of Bealu’s pomp and success, had he wanted to resist. Which I doubt he did. I know Sebhat’s type of people. They value their “peace” more than anything else in the world. It’s never about gold and silver for them, being published, read!. A little quite, a little “shsh”, and they are willing to sacrifice whatever is in their power to maintain it. My uncle, who actually used to ‘meQam’ at the Aboy’s house, used to give his jacket and walk home shivering in the cold because he saw somebody colder or asked him for money (which even his wife, with her “neBruwa” reputation, couldn’t make him save). I don’t know if it’s the Mother Teresa Complex or simple cowardice. But he hang out and gave all that he made to those he knew wouldn’t be there for him.


    I think Sebhat simpled swallowed hard and let it go, showing fake smile everytime Bealu’s name (and talent) is mentioned, even saying a few words that may or may not have been “wust’e woyira” (feeling pretty Zen about it too), wishing they could leave him alone (or he can steal out and get drunk) brooding on it only on cold nights when neither Hanna nor the various prostitutes that kept his “Yemaynegga Lett” bearable went missing. That seems the most likely conclusion to me. Reading the book, i’m sure, would give you more insight.

    Thank you for being here. Ebakih At’itfa.

  • 18. sistu  |  December 12, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Hanna!! Abesheet, i love how you jog up memories for me. I know its not the PC thing to say but i doNOT like her (hate her perhaps?).. the only times I mazen for Sebhat is doing his Hanna moments.. i don’t know but i sort of see him as very human during those. Obviously still loves her, you think? Poor yeKukusha (?) enat, I always thought. But maybe she liberated him too, perhaps? I don’t see Sebhat ending up as Sebhat had Hanniye stayed by his side for good. good for Ethiopia, i guess. Sebhat in the upper class would have been a tragedy to literature.

    Tigist, tisechignalesh atsechignim?? -Sebhat’s life in nut shell? (no pun intended.. one of the funniest line i heard from him)

  • 19. abesheet  |  December 12, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I think Sebhat would have remained Sebhat with half a dozen Hannas next to him, sistu. That’s the kind of person he is.

    You know a certain guy, i’m sure, from ‘Ke Elleni gar yelib yelib mechawet’ days. Well, that dude still claims to love that girl and says he’d go to his tomb with her in his heart. My suggestion, ‘please get a life!’. They suck you dry. They break your heart. But the minute you decided to say “enuff”, they start obsessing with you. Not because you were any good for them or they actually understood your worth, but because you can not be reached for another round of abuse. The boy who cried for the moon, that’s what they remind you of. From the way they describe you in these ‘moon crying’ days, you’d get the impression they were talking about somebody else. They make you not just the perfect woman for them, but their redeemer and their road to the nirvanna. The truth is, it’s never been about you and it never will be. It’s a self-abuse game they had going on with themselves. I’m glad Hanna got away while she still can.

    By the way, Kukusha’s mother is the ‘setegna adari’ he shared a house with before her. Hanna gave him a boy who, last time i read on him, was a doctor living in England.

  • 20. sistu  |  December 12, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    well well well, apparently somebody has been withholding some lib from what should have been a complete yelib-yelib chewata. you lead me to believe there are some antiques that may have been left out. We shall ask and we shall overcome and we shall get back to the girl. I should be careful in my talk here tho, due to a lack of a boast-able iwket on the field. however, did i perhaps spot her in Cutie (Queuing Theory.. QT… would it interest you to know its a subject matter to me these days? Was surprised to see it as a title. What coincidence)… but kept on coming across names and circumstances I thought I recognized (made it ever the more enjoyable). i could be wrong tho… 🙂 libelish (the face)…

    Hanna, yeah good she left! Don’t we all wish our mothers had left? I have just your thought about his obsession… that it was because she left (and his pride in the son!). Didn’t Kukusha’s mom die? I have never disliked him more than when he talked about Kukusha’s mom. Truly shameFUL! shame on him for that. Can you imagine Kukusha at school with that public knowledge about her mother’s profession? Balege, he is. He can talk about Kukusha’s doggy like a good father but not have the decency to hold back that info about her mother.

    thanks for a great beginning to the day…

  • 21. Tsegaye  |  September 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I just finished reading Ye Key Kokeb Tiri. I can say again and again that this is not a pro Revolution piece. In fact it can be argued that it is against the revolution and leaning more to “we are all humans”.
    This man keeps amazing me with the depth he gives his characters. Every one of those characters reflect something specific yet common to most of us.

    I know we are not discussing this book in this comment list (that has been inactive since 2008 lol) but I had to come back and say it.

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The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

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"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint." - Antonio Salieri, from the movie "Amadeus"

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