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Revolutionary Eschatology: Islam & the End of Time in al-āhir Waār’s al-Zilzāl

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[Abstract This paper analyzes the use of Qurʾanic rhetoric and imagery in al-Ṭāhir Waṭṭār’s 1974 novel al-Zilzāl (The Earthquake). More specifically, it emphasizes Waṭṭār’s employment of Qurʾanic eschatology to blur the boundary between ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ forms of discourse in the construction of Algerian nationalist discourse. The paper investigates al-Zilzāl’s critical engagement with the rhetoric of Arabism and Islamism in post-revolutionary state politics, highlighting the novel’s hybrid genre, its conscious manipulation of narrative time and space, as well as its incorporation of various registers of the Arabic language. Through the mobilization of eschatological notions of struggle, death and sacrifice, al-Zilzāl unsettles a number of authorized narratives on Algerian national identity, language and literature., AbstractThis paper analyzes the use of Quranic rhetoric and imagery in al-āhir Waār’s 1974 novel al-Zilzāl (The Earthquake). More specifically, it emphasizes Waār’s employment of Quranic eschatology to blur the boundary between ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ forms of discourse in the construction of Algerian nationalist discourse. The paper investigates al-Zilzāl’s critical engagement with the rhetoric of Arabism and Islamism in post-revolutionary state politics, highlighting the novel’s hybrid genre, its conscious manipulation of narrative time and space, as well as its incorporation of various registers of the Arabic language. Through the mobilization of eschatological notions of struggle, death and sacrifice, al-Zilzāl unsettles a number of authorized narratives on Algerian national identity, language and literature.]

Affiliations: 1: University of California Los Angeles, URL: http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink

10.1163/157006411X596122
/content/journals/10.1163/157006411x596122
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/content/journals/10.1163/157006411x596122
2011-01-01
2016-12-10

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