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The Unholy Trinity: Politics, Sex and Mysticism in 'Azīz Al-Sayyid Jāsim's Narratives

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This paper attempts to decode the discourse of dissent in the novels of the late Iraqi writer and thinker 'Azīz al-Sayyid Jāsim. His three narratives afford an interesting case of textual combat, wherein politics, sex and mysticism are exploited as tactical maneuvers for critique, subversion and resistance. This paper reads 'Azīz al-Sayyid Jāsim's focus on sexual matters as well as his deep interest in Sufism as a strategy of involvement in and alienation from a corrupt political life. Al-Munādil (The Militant), Al-Maftūn (The Bewitched), and Al-Zahru al-Shaqī (The Suffering primrose) offer instances of mystified politics and/or politicized sex. 'Azīz al-Sayyid Jāsim's narratives present a space of self-interrogation, skepticism and anxiety that make of him a leading mark in Arab writings of conscience.


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