Celebrating the critic is a celebration of literature and creativity, because criticism should be a lever for them. When the Ministry of Culture chose to honor critic Dr. Atef El-Boutros in the celebration of the Syrian Culture Days, it sought to shed light on a creative gender that is seen as the lowest level of written literature.
Dr. Al-Boutros’ view of creativity stems from his belief in the existence of a strong relationship between cultural production processes in all its forms and ways of receiving them, especially that the current time has witnessed an outburst of modern means of communication that has accelerated the reception of knowledge, but it has increased human isolation and reduced the bonds of communication with others.
“The problem is not in the means of communication per se, but in the ways of using them and making them the only means of knowledge without the book, paper, and the readable word,” he said, considering that facing this problem is complex and becomes more urgent with the expansion of the circle of users of these means, the speed of their spread and ease of access, and making them the only source of knowledge.
Al-Boutros obtained a BA in Arabic language and literature from Damascus University in 1977 and a doctorate in modern Arabic literature from the Orientalist Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1997. He previously worked as a cultural program presenter at Moscow International Radio and as a teacher of Arabic in secondary schools in Syria.
Dr. Al-Boutros, by virtue of his membership in the Arab Writers Union, occupied many tasks in it. He was the rapporteur of the Literary Criticism Society of the Union and a member of the editorial board of the literary position magazine issued by it.
The academic faculties that Al-Boutros had in the study of criticism made him a permanent participant in the arbitration of literary competitions, especially in the art of the novel, and a reader of the works presented to the Writers Union and the Syrian General Book Authority, in addition to his continuous participation in seminars held by the Ministry of Culture and the Writers Union.
In the field of criticism, Dr. El-Boutros has published a number of books: “Hana Minah, Living, Imaginary, and Intention of the Text”, “Studies in the Arabic and International Novels” and “The Semantic Openness of the Text… Studies for a Number of Storytelling Groups in Syria.”