The View from Within: Writers and Critics on Contemporary Arabic Literature, Volume 0

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American University in Cairo Press, 1994 - Literary Collections - 295 pages
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This anthology drawn from the Cairo-based journal Alif opens a window onto contemporary Arabic literature and thought. The collection presents some of the pressing debates, polemics, and preoccupations of Arab writers and literary Arabists who have shared in the Arab cultural experience in the eighties and nineties. Men and women writers from Iraq to Morocco, from Sudan to Syria, explore the genres of poetry, drama, and narrative. The voices of the younger generation of writers and critics alternate with those of established figures such as Naguib Mahfouz and Edward Said in discussions of diverse topics ranging from resistance, postcolonialism, and feminism to literary experimentation, acculturation, and interpoetics. Throughout, the dialectics of tradition and innovation, folklore and fiction, imagery and violence, place and exile, language and social action illustrate the variety of modern Arabic literary culture. The View from within illustrates the structures of Arabic literature and the ways in which various voices and traditions of Arabic writing converge in a city - Cairo - that is the symbolic focus of the Arab world's struggle against forces of intellectual marginalization and obliteration. Perhaps the most persistent concern of this collection is how to preserve Arab cultural specificity and simultaneously belong to a global culture, how to be an individual and at the same time part of a larger human order that happens to be inequitable and, more often than not, hostile. This volume will be valuable to readers of Arabic literature, students of modern Arab culture, and anyone with an interest in contemporary Arabic intellectual concerns, writing, and society.

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My Experience With Writing
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About the author (1994)

FERIAL J. GHAZOUL is an Iraqi scholar, critic, and translator. She is professor of English and comparative literature at the American University in Cairo, and editor of Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics. She has written extensively on gender issues in modern and medieval literature and is the author of Nocturnal Poetics: The Arabian Nights in Comparative Context (AUC Press, 1996).

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