Sensibilities of the Islamic Mediterranean: Self-Expression in a Muslim Culture from Post-Classical Times to the Present Day

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Robin Ostle
I. B. Tauris, Oct 15, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 392 pages
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From the mountains of Lebanon to the shores of Turkey and North Africa, the Islamic Mediterranean has always been a dynamic cultural hub, where the stories and passions of East and West collide. In a sweeping survey spanning the first Arabic edition of the Thousand and One Nights to the novels of the 20th century, Robin Ostle pours through centuries of books, art and architecture to reveal what they tell us about the changing relationship between individual and society in this distinctive culture.  In pre-modern literature, individuality was expressed through a series of comic subversions which, through their resolution, ultimately strengthened the social status quo. The great 19th century travelogues represented a more transgressive exploration of the boundaries of the self. This theme was continued in the cultural forms of the 20th century, with their emphasis on self-expression and emotional liberation, something increasingly defined in opposition to the state.  'Sensibilities of the Islamic Mediterranean' unravels the emotions, ideas and power relationships which make up the cultural fabric of this fascinating region.

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About the author (2008)

Robin Ostle is a Fellow in Oriental Studies at St. John's College, Oxford.

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