By Fabio Caiani
This e-book introduces Western readers to a few of the main major novels written in Arabic for the reason that 1979. regardless of their contribution to the advance of latest 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 vital novels have been released among 1979 and 2002, a interval in which their paintings reached literary adulthood. all of them signify 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 ebook fills that hole.
Relying on literary thought and bearing on comparative examples from different literatures, this examine areas its findings inside a much broader framework, defining what's intended through innovation within the Arabic novel, and the actual socio-political context during which it seems that. This publication will considerably increase the present serious literature in English at the modern Arabic novel.
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Additional info for Contemporary Arab Fiction: Innovation from Rama to Yalu (Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures)
Second, the content of Barrada’s two novels explicitly focuses on recollection, memory and forgetfulness, and their connection with the creative act of writing (in LuPbat, the main characters explicitly play ‘the game of forgetting/remembering’ which is part of the selfreferential structure of the novel). Al-Hadi and al-PAyshuni – the protagonists of LuPbat and al-DawU respectively – look back at their past because they want to make sense of their present, their life. This attempt is consciously carried out through creative, artistic activities with no sure successful outcome: the prevailing feelings are those of frustration and nostalgia for one’s past, one’s childhood (as we have seen earlier, al-Kharrat guards us against seeing his evocative prose as the result of a nostalgic attitude, as he is more interested in depicting the process of memory, rather than the longing to regain the past).
Without forcing too many parallels between the colonial situation of Ireland and the Arab world’s postcolonial one, it may be relevant to mention that Declan Kiberd, in his introduction to Joyce’s Ulysses, refers to Leopold Bloom’s Irish self as not a single, but a multiple self, because it is rendered by the cracked looking-glass (Oscar Wilde) left by the colonizer (Kiberd 1992: lxxviii–lxxix). If al-Kharrat questions the concept of ‘objective reality’ through mixing up metaphysical and physical aspects of human experience, Khuri openly questions ‘reality’, offering many versions of it and ultimately questioning the very stories his characters narrate.
Miramar, 1967; Miramar, 1978), but the subversion of time in Khuri and al-Kharrat is much more complete. 34 In al-Kharrat, this is the outcome of a conscious plan to give shape to a new fiction where temporal references are simply rejected. In one of his several works of literary criticism, al-Kharrat explains that in his fiction he aims at capturing a moment, elusive and at the same time persistent, where the different temporal stages of a human being (childhood, boyhood, adulthood) converge (Kharrat 1996b: 26–7).
Contemporary Arab Fiction: Innovation from Rama to Yalu (Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures) by Fabio Caiani