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Rewriting Literary History: The Case Of The Arabic Novel

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author intends to take a retrospective look at the parameters of literary history as applied to the Arabic novel. Having identified what seem to be some of the principal issues involved in problematizing a literary history of Arabic fiction, the author turns to a consideration of certain trends in the tradition that seem to me to necessitate a re-writing process. The example involves the Libyan novelist, Ibrāhīm al-Kūnī, who reflects his own Tuareg upbringing in the Southern deserts of his homeland by writing fantasies that are firmly rooted in the lore of the desert peoples and an acute concern with the description of the environment. The author wishes to mention in connection with the contemporary Arabic novel is the resort to transtextual and even trans-generic writing and also mentions the contribution of women writers to the continuing development of Arabic fiction.

Keywords: Arabic novel; Ibrāhīm al-Kūnī literary history



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