Contemporary Arab Fiction: Innovation from Rama to Yalu by Fabio Caiani

By Fabio Caiani

This e-book introduces Western readers to a couple of the main major novels written in Arabic considering that 1979. regardless of their contribution to the advance of up to date Arabic fiction, those authors stay mostly unknown to non-Arab readers.

Fabio Caiani examines the paintings of the Moroccan Muhammad Barrada; the Egyptian Idwar al-Kharrat; the Lebanese Ilyas Khuri and the Iraqi Fu’ad al-Takarli. Their most important novels have been released among 1979 and 2002, a interval within which their paintings reached literary adulthood. all of them symbolize pioneering literary traits in comparison to the novelistic shape canonized within the influential early works of Naguib Mahfouz. before, a few of their such a lot leading edge works haven't been analyzed intimately – this publication fills that hole.

Relying on literary thought and concerning comparative examples from different literatures, this research locations its findings inside a much wider framework, defining what's intended by means of innovation within the Arabic novel, and the actual socio-political context within which it sounds as if. This e-book will considerably increase the prevailing serious literature in English at the modern Arabic novel.

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Extra info for Contemporary Arab Fiction: Innovation from Rama to Yalu (Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures)

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My woman . . my harbour . . my cave . . Kemi . . my dream, merciful Ment, Mut wife of Amun, Ma’at my mirror . . my blessing . . Mary full of grace . . buried Demeter, her wet mouth raining blessing and mercy . . her womb greedy for sperm, destined to the cycle of death and blazing pleasures . . mother of the hawk . . mother of patience . . mother of the golden jasmine trembling on the waters . . Rama. When she woke up, she looked in his eyes questioningly. He said to her: You were with me.

For example, Kanfani’s novel Ma tabaqqa la-kum (1966; All That’s Left to You, 1990) contains sudden shifting from one narrator to another, without clarifying markings. 11 He talks about ‘breaking the uninterrupted narrative sequence’ and ‘disrupting the linear temporal sequence’ (Kharrat 1993: 11–12). Darraj’s basic criticism of al-Kharrat is that the latter’s work both as a critic and a novelist is not as innovative as al-Kharrat claims it to be. 13 While it is certainly possible to say that some of the techniques al-Kharrat employs were already being used by Arab authors before him, it is impossible to find a passage similar to the one quoted earlier in any of the novels referred to by Darraj.

In fact, although we might assume that al-Kharrat is likely to share some, maybe most, of his protagonist’s ideas and thoughts, as expressed in the Trilogy, he seems to distance himself from MikhaUil’s intransigent ideas on Egypt’s non-Arab culture, saying in an interview with Hafez: ‘I am an Arab–Egyptian–Copt; in the following order: Coptic, Egyptian and linguistically Arab. 11 Even if we dismiss these clarifications from the author, the reader feels that the arguments between MikhaUil and Rama could be seen as open-ended, especially if we see the two protagonists as two voices of the archetypal Egyptian, two tendencies within the same people.

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