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Obabakoak: Stories from a Village

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  517 ratings  ·  61 reviews
"A brilliantly inventive writer ... he understands the nature of storytelling and is at once terribly moving and wildy funny."—A.S. Byatt

Obabakoak is a shimmering, mercurial collection about life in Obaba, a remote, exotic Basque village. A schoolboy’s miningengineer father tricks him into growing up, an unfortunate environmentalist rescues deceptively harmless lizards, an
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Graywolf Press (first published 1988)
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Fahad
أوباباكوآك

عنوان غريب، أما معناه فهو (أهل أوبابا)، قبل أن نتناول الرواية لنتعرف على الروائي، للأسف الشديد لم يزودنا صالح علماني – المترجم – بأي معلومات عنه، وإنما كلمات بسيطة على قفا الرواية تلمح إلى أن أتشاغا كاتب باسكي، وأن الرواية منسوجة على غرار ألف ليلة وليلة، أي القصص المتفرقة الموصولة بشكل ما، إما داخليا ً في القصة الصغيرة نفسها، أو خارجيا ً أي بارتباطها بالقصة الكبيرة.

الفصل الأخير من الرواية والمعنون (على سبيل السيرة الذاتية)، يعطينا فكرة عن قضية الكاتب، وليس ذاته، فهو من الكتاب الباسكيين
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Hend
"
سمعت من يقول ان لعبة الاوكا مثلها مثل الحكايات التقليدية تمثل مفهوما محددا للحياة وانها وصف للاعمال والايام التى علينا قضاؤها فى هذه الدنيا انها وصف وتورية
"


وتستمر هذه التورية على عدة مستويات فى هذا البناء القصصى
وهذه هى النتيجة الحتمية لمن ينشا فى ظل الحكم الديكتاتوري

فى قصة خادم التاجر الثرى
يغير الكاتب النهاية فبدلا ان يموت الخادم مستسلما لقدره يتمرد على نهايته المحتومة ويفر من الموت ويسخر منه
وهى قصة يقتبسها الكاتب من التراث العربى
"
اننى هارب من الموت واطلب منكم الملجا
ولكن اولئك الناس كانوا يرتعب
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بثينة العيسى


أحببتُ هذا العمل، وأعجبت بالبناء السردي المركّب، الذي لم يبلبل بساطة العمل وإمكانية تلقيه، كما أسجل احترامي لما أظهره الكاتب، والمترجم أيضاً .. من إخلاص أصيل للكتابةِ وصنعةِ القص. كتاب جميل.
Emma Sea
Utterly lovely, and elegantly woven together.
Jesse
this is a wholly engaging novel, of love, cultural preservation, and the power of narrative - all blended with an early hemingway prose infused with a healthy dose of magical realism (and only the very best parts of this much maligned style). atxaga examines not only what makes stories appealling; but, more importantly, why narrative endures. this is really a hermetically sealed book (which could be called a novel, or interconnected short stories, depending on if you think a place can be a prota ...more
Eman salem
” الحقيقة ان الدنيا كانت تكفينا ، فقد كانت تتفتح امامنا مثل ذيل طاووس ، وتأتينا كل يوم بألف شيء مختلف ، واعدة ايانا بألف شيء آخر او بعشرة الاف او بمائة شيء اخر للمستقبل . مالذي كانته الدنيا ؟ من المستحيل معرفة ذلك ، ولكنها على الاقل تبدو فسيحة جداً ، غير محدودة في الزمان والمكان على السواء هذا ما كنا نتخيله ، ولهذا كانت العناوين التي نكتبها على مغلفات الرسائل طويلة جداً ، فلم يكن يكفينا ان نبين لساعي البريد على سبيل المثال اسم ابن عمنا ، والمدينة التي يعيش فيها ، وانما كنا نوضح جيداً كذلك اسم ال ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
"Obaba" is a place, a Basque village. "Obabakoak" means the people and things of Obaba. originally written in Basque (an almost dead language, understood only by a few), it was later translated into Spanish where it was received with acclaim in Europe. This English version was a translation from the Spanish.

I felt I could have written this book myself. I had also lived in an "Obaba" during my younger years, an obscure town in a small island facing the Pacific Ocean. During those times the town h
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Ayman Naqeeb
من الروايات الجميلة. سعيدٌ على تعرفي عليها . قد تكون مملة للبعض .. لكنها ناسبت ذوقي
يأخذك الكاتب في أجواءٍ عدة تعتمد أساسًا على القصة القصيرة.
فالقصة القصيرة هي التي تكون هذه الرواية.
أستطيع بعدَ قراءتي أن أخبرك أنّك إن كنت مبدعًا فـ ستجعل من أحداثٍ عادية, أو أسطورة, أو خرافة, أو حتى من كلامٍ عابرٍ ملحمةً عظيمة, أو قصةً ممتعة.

عن بطل القصة الذي ( يتملْقَف ) هو وصديقه في قصةٍ قديمة لأسطورةِ الحرذون الذي دخل رأس زميلهما في المدرسة بعد أن كبرى الصورة والذي أدخله أحد الطلاب المشاغبين عند التقاط الصورة م
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أحمد همام
مدهش جدا ، معمار الرواية غريب ، والأفكار جميلة، تقوم الرواية على فكرة الأواني المستطرقة التي أشار لها العم برجاس يوسا في كتابه (رسائل إلى روائي شاب) ، حكاية كبيرة تتخللها بعض الحكاياالصغيرة التي تتخللها بدورها عشرات الحكايا متناهية الصغر ، كل ذلك متكئ على بعض الحيل السردية اللطيفة ، ومرتكز بشكل رئيس على النظرية الشهيرة (دعني أخدعك دعني انخدع) ، ثم مدعوما بقوالب قصصية جديدة مثل الأبحاث والتنظيرات..

أوباباكواك كتاب جيد للقارئ المدَرَّب
Michael
Though tagged a novel, Obabakoak is better described as a series of fictions, tied together only by their setting in the village of Obaba. But each separate story is lovingly told, and the whole comes together to give the reader a great sense of place. Atxaga also runs certain themes throughout the book, with different apparitions through the various fictions, that come together also to give the book that sense of wholeness not present in certain collections of stories.

At its heart, I think Obab
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Jessica
This was a very interesting book. On one level it's a collection of short stories that are only slightly related to each other by their settings - most taking place in Obaba (a Basque village) or Hamburg - but it's more than that. Atxaga has intertwined thoughts on writing, literary interpretation, and what makes story good with tales that typify these thoughts. These stories were entertaining and often thought-provoking.

Other reviewers have commented that there is a bit of magic realism in Obab
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jana
قرأتها قبل فترة, قبل سنة تقريبًا, لكن بعضها ما يزال في البال, لإن مثل هذه الرواية صعب أن تمر عليها سريعًا, بقراءة واحدة. أصلًا لا تكفيها قراءة واحدة حتّى تستطيع على الأقل أن تُفكّك كل ما جاء فيها وتصِل إليكَ الرسائل كما أراد لها صاحبها: أتشاغا.

بالمناسبة أكثر ما لفت نظري في أسلوب الكاتب, الكمّ الهائل من السخرية الذي يرميه بين السطور, كان على مقدرة كبيرة من الوعي طبعًا بكل ما يكتبه, للدرجة التي ينفذ فيها الكلام إلى عقلك مباشرةً ويتربّع فيه.

وحتّى الآن.. أفكر كثيرًا, كيف استطاع هذا الرجل أن يجعل الح
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Becky
I'm a little torn with this review. Atxaga is one a small number of Basque authors, and in this collection he tells short stories of the village of Obaba. They have a fairy tale like air, and the first few are full of magical joy and in true fairy tale style, dark villianry. The second half describes a casual author's club, run by the narrator's father, with strict rules about form and plagiarism. These rules evolve along with the stories they tell, but the stories are a little less magical and ...more
Maryann
Obabakoak means "the people and things of Obaba" in Basque, a language still spoken in parts of Spain and France. Basque is a pre-Indo-European language and is the last one that remains. There are some differing thoughts about how old the language is- possibly rooted in the Stone Age- but it is likely from before the time of the Roman Empire. During the dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1936-1975), the language was suppressed. Atxaga was born in 1951 and grew up in the latter half of the dictato ...more
David Gavilan
I had no idea what this book was about. I just knew it was from a Basque author, and that it was originally written in Basque. I have no idea of Basque so I read the Spanish version, of course. The book has also English and Japanese translations. The title means "The ones from Obaba" in Basque, and it's a collection of short stories around an imaginary Basque town called "Obaba". The first 100 pages are short stories related to kids, and I think they are the best of the book. The later were loos ...more
MashailGhammas
Obabakoak is Bernardo Atxaga's best-known book, the one that brought him a small international reputation. Yet it's perhaps his least straightforward novel. It's a novel that operates on several different levels of reality.

Bernardo Atxaga is the pen name of a writer called Joseba Irazu Garmendia, from Asteasu, Gipuzkoa. (Not so long ago, it was not a smart move to write in Basque under one's own name). A storyteller from Asteasu has access to the world's treasure trove of stories. But he chooses
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Gijs Grob
Als roman gepresenteerde bundel korte verhalen in drie delen:

het eerste deel, 'Kinderjaren', bevat vehalen rond het dorpje Obaba in Baskenland, waar de roman zijn titel aan ontleent.

Het tweede deel, 'negen woorden ter ere van het dorp Villamediana' zijn verhalen rond een Spanjaard die zich vanuit de stad vestigt in het afgelegen dorpje Villamediana. Dit deel bevat de mooiste beschrijvingen en is vervuld van een sterke nostalgie en gevoel van verlies.

Het derde deel is een raamvertelling rond een
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Laura
This loosely-related collection of short stories is definitely worth reading. I must admit that there wasn't much in them that said "Basque literature" in such a way as to separate them from other short stories, and after a while I gave up looking.

Set in either Obaba (a village in the Basque region of Spain) or Hamburg, these stories are relatively quiet and, I thought, have some thread of dream/magical realism running through them. Often the characters are loners with somewhat rich interior liv
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حسين آل دهيم
من الصعب قراءة أوبابا كوآك كعمل أدبي مجرد فهي تضج بالإحالات الثقافية المتعددة المستويات لكنها المطمئنة في حضن الإنسانية، الحكايات تجوب الأرض و تتداخل الأحلام مع الواقع، مرة نرى فيها سرد القرن التاسع عشر و مرة نرى سرداً متجاوزاً للزمن، السحرية موزعة في أرجاء الرواية بجرعات متتالية لتثبت هذه الوثيقة الإبداعية قدرة برناردو أتشاغا على اجتراح الدهشة من الخيبة واليأس و الحقد و الخيانة و الموت البغيض.
Ian
Took this on with a bit of trepidation as the most noteworthy feature of this novel was the fact that it was originally written in the Basque language. That did not seem to say much for its actual content. Really pleasantly surprised though. Stories, short and long, mingle with stories about writing, telling tales, the whole business of appreciating literature and whether small lizards crawling in your ear can make you blind. Plagiarism, dwarves and the population drift away from rural Spain all ...more
Philip Lane
A very intriguing book which felt to me like a patchwork quilt and makes me want to read it again to pick up on aspects I missed first time round. It is not what I normally look for in a novel in that it doesn't really have a plot. It bears comparison to The Arabian Nights and Moby Dick, both of which are mentioned by Atxaga in the book. Obabakoak means 'stories from Obaba' and does have a collection of exotic tales included in it. At the same time it wanders away from the continuing description ...more
Jill
Not a nailbiter that kept me up at night, but an intriguing and very different type of book. Having been originally written in Basque, the book does well in portraying various aspects of the Basque people and their culture. Some of the tales are a bit odd and seem out of place, but the end tied them together well enough.
Isra'a

هذه الرواية غيرت مجرى حياتي الأدبي ونظرتي للعنصر الروائي والروايات للأبد :)


بسببها, أصبحت أحب قراءة الروايات التي فيما مضى لم أكن أطيقها وأقرأهم بصعوبة بالغة.
Lawrence
A book about storytelling with some beautiful and somewhat melancholy tales. I think it is best understood as a commentary on the uniqueness of the Basque language and literature with the opening poem and the autobiography at the end an integral part of the story. The stories are not always well integrated with each other (and I'm not convinced that they were meant to be), but the final part of the book with its 1001 Arabian Nights feel and its special discourse on literature offer a unique insi ...more
Jon S. Prue
The first five stories have good working prose and pacing that render geese, notebooks, and lizards into themes of solitude and family and madness, albeit saved for deeper examination by characters in the final cycle of stories. This book is advertised as a short story collection, as a novel, yet rarely as both and never as a work wholly unto its own. Atxaga's work contains glimmers of Dante, of Rushdie. At the same time this book is a unique experience that thoroughly explains itself to the rea ...more
Tamara
Jun 23, 2008 Tamara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Friends of "The Thousand and One Nights" and "The Decameron"
Shelves: favorites
I am in love with this book. Not really a novel, as much as a series of fantastic and bittersweet stories, many of them nestled inside one another or intertwined. Originally written in Basque, this is meta-magical realism, without the magic. Instead, the author refreshingly ruminates on and illuminates the small and the real, the complicated, sad and shimmering. It is a reflection on language, on stories and literature, bundled up in absorbing stories that bound across time and space. Highly rec ...more
bup
Jun 05, 2010 bup rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010, novel
I was intrigued when I heard of this book, being one of only a hundred (or so) books written in Basque since the invention of the printing press. Also, the descriptions I read made it seem like it surreal elements.

I enjoyed it, but not as much as I thought I would. It's a stitched-together collection of short stories, that I would have liked to have had be more cohesive. The ending, in particular, seemed contrived, and not particularly satisfying.
Mitch
This is a book of short stories loosely tied together by the narrator's life. Some stories have a point; others wander around and are just odd. It may have been that truth mimicked this fiction- perhaps a lizard did pierced the author's eardrum and started whittling away at his brain.
See what I mean by odd? My review makes just about as much sense as the book did.
I only found one story I thought compelling- hence the low rating.
Yasmine Noureddine
اوباباكواك...من كان يعتقد ان الحرذون قد يفعل الكثير؟ أدبيا
مشوقة جدا ومميزة.
Babs
An interesting but bizarre collection of stories about life in Obaba, a remote, exotic Basque village. Obabakoak means "the people and things of Obaba."

The village is peopled with rascals, innocents, intellectuals, shepherds, hunters, and creatures of superstition and Ataxaga evokes their private worlds.

The book in categorized as Fiction/Literature...a good place for this novel. More than just a story.
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I Read Therefore ...: Jan 14 Obabakoak - Bernado Atxaga 39 18 Feb 12, 2014 02:48PM  
  • Memoirs of a Peasant Boy
  • The Trials of Persiles and Sigismunda: A Northern Story
  • Journey to the Alcarria: Travels Through the Spanish Countryside
  • Tiempo de silencio
  • Solitude
  • El astillero
  • Pepita Jiménez
  • El hereje
  • The Last World
  • A Ballad for Georg Henig
  • The Commandant
  • Retreat Without Song
  • Professor Martens' Departure
  • The Young Man
  • Los pazos de Ulloa
  • The First Garden
  • The Bells of Basel
  • The Manor (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
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Bernardo Atxaga (Joseba Irazu Garmendia, Asteasu, Guipúzcoa, 1951) belongs to the young group of Basque writers that began publishing in his mother language, Euskera, in the Seventies. Graduated in Economics for the Bilbao University, he later studied Philosophy at the University of Barcelona.

His first short story, Ziutateaz was published in 1976 and his first book of poetry Etiopia in 1978. Both
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More about Bernardo Atxaga...
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“My father had a similar saying. He said that in heaven there's a huge cake reserved solely for married people who've never once regretted getting married. The cake's never been touched.” 1 likes
“I think of the memory as being rather like a dam," he said, after a pause for thought. "It irrigates and gives life to our whole spirit. But, like a dam, it needs overflow channels if it's not to burst its banks. Because if it ever does overflow or burst, its waters will destroy everything in its path.” 1 likes
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