Literature and Nation in the Middle East by Yasir Suleiman, Ibrahim Muhawi

By Yasir Suleiman, Ibrahim Muhawi

This compelling learn provides an unique examine how 'the state' is represented within the literature of the center East. It comprises chapters on Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine and Israel, drawing at the services of literary students, historians, political scientists and cultural theorists.

The ebook deals a synthesising contribution to wisdom, putting Arab literature in the context of emergent or conflicting nationalist tasks within the region. subject matters addressed include:

• the jobs of literature and interpretation in defining nationwide identity

• exile

• conflicting nationalisms

• clash resolution

The techniques taken by way of the authors variety from textual and rhetorical research to ancient bills of the function of literature in contributing to nationwide id, and political research of using literature as a device in clash answer. Genres lined contain fiction (the novel), poetry and verbal duelling.

This certain exploration of the topic of literature and the state within the Arab global might be of curiosity to a person learning heart japanese literature and nationalism, in addition to historians and political scientists.

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Additional resources for Literature and Nation in the Middle East

Example text

Current events may arise, although often rather obliquely. One cannot argue, then, that the absence from the poetry duel — 22 — SuleimanMuhawi_02_Chap 1 22 12/1/06, 9:58 am the production of locality in the oral palestinian poetry duel of Hebrew and of any mention of the Israeli non-Palestinian presence that surrounds Galilee residents is due to any generic restrictions. In performance, then, Palestinian poets create an imaginary Palestine, one defined through both the language of performance (the Palestinian dialect) and the abundance of Palestinian family and village names as distinctly and purely Palestinian.

The performance context is never allowed to slip into the background, but forced to be present in the minds of participants even as an Arab heroic context is constantly evoked through the language of chivalry. Here, too, phaticity has a role to play. Muhawi, following Babcock, has noted the phatic function of ‘meta’ discourse. Like the greetings mentioned above (and, indeed, as we have already noted in the context of performance, the greetings are themselves metacommunicative) the ‘meta’ discourse that permeates the poetry not only binds the sahrah participants to the poetry in performance, but also serves to bind them psychologically to one another.

Reynolds describes the way in which the mood of the evening affects the performance’s text: Part of the dynamic of the sahrah context is the weaving of elements from the performance situation first into the performance text and then back into the sahrah setting. Over and over again an evening gathering develops around an idea or a mood that is reiterated in different forms. To some extent this quality is found in any human dialogue or conversation, but the sahrah context seems to invite such participation in a more formalized, more performance-oriented manner.

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