Specters Of World Literature: Orientalism, Modernity, And The Novel In The Middle East

June 30, 2020|
Specters Of World Literature: Orientalism, Modernity, And The Novel In The Middle East by Karim Mattar
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Develops a new, "spectral" theory of world literature, and a comparative understanding of the history and current practice of the novel in the Middle East

  • Addresses the problematic of world literature from the perspective of a Derridean theory of spectrality
  • Provides an original account of the origins, rise and spread of the novel in the comparative Middle East
  • Pursues innovative analyses of major novelists from Egypt, Turkey and Iran
  • Includes readings of novels and other literary works including Cities of Salt by Abdelrahman Munif, Arabian Nights and Days and Morning and Evening Talk by Naguib Mahfouz, The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk, Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, The Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowther and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  • Contextualizes its primary texts with reference to classic statements of world literature from Goethe and Marx to the present, the discourse of the modern novel as initiated by Cervantes and landmarks of Middle Eastern literary history such as the Mu''allaqat and Alf Layla wa Layla

This book draws on Edward Said, Aamir Mufti, Jacques Derrida, and world-systems theory to address the institutionalized construct of "world literature" from its origins in Goethe and Marx to the present day. It argues that through its history, this construct has served to incorporate if not annul local literatures and the concept of "local literature" itself, and to universalize the novel, the lyric poem, and the stage play as the only literary forms appropriate to modernity. It demonstrates this thesis through a comparative reading of the reinscription of the classical Arabic-Islamic concept of "adab" as "literature" in the modern, European sense in Egypt, Turkey, and Iran in the 19th to mid-20th centuries. It then turns to the Middle Eastern novel in the global contexts of its production, translation, circulation, and reception today. Through new readings of novels and other literary works by Abdelrahman Munif, Naguib Mahfouz, Orhan Pamuk, Azar Nafisi, Yasmin Crowther, and Marjane Satrapi, and with reference to landmarks of Middle Eastern and world literary history ranging from the Mu''allaqat and Alf Layla wa Layla to Don Quixote, it argues that these texts-like "world literature" itself-are constitutively haunted by specters of the literary forms and traditions, of the life-worlds that they expressed, cast aside by modernity. In the case of the Middle Eastern novel, it is adab and all that it encompassed in the classical Arab-Islamic world that is suppressed or othered, but that spectral, yet returns in new, genuinely worldly constellations of form.

Title:Specters Of World Literature: Orientalism, Modernity, And The Novel In The Middle EastFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:360 pages, 9.21 X 6.14 X 0.98 inShipping dimensions:360 pages, 9.21 X 6.14 X 0.98 inPublished:June 30, 2020Publisher:Edinburgh University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1474467032

ISBN - 13:9781474467032

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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