Description : This literary-historical book draws out and sheds light upon the mechanisms of "the ideological work" that the Arabic Majnūn Laylā story performed for ‘Abbāsid urbanite, imperial audiences in the wake of the disappearance of the "Bedouin cosmos." The study focuses upon the processes of primitivizing Majnūn in the romance of Majnūn Laylā as part of the paradigm shift that occurred in the ‘Abbāsid empire after the Greco-Arabian intellectual revolution. Moreover, this book demonstrates how gender and sexuality are employed in the processes of primitivizing Majnūn. As markers of "strangeness" and "foreignness" in the ‘Abbāsid interrogations of the multiple categories of ethnicity, culture, identity, religion and language present in their cosmopolitan milieus. Such "cultural work" is performed through the ideological uses of alterity given its mechanisms of distancing (e.g., temporal and spatial) and nearness (e.g., affective). Lastly, the Majnūn Laylā love story demonstrates, in its text and reception, that a Greco-Arabian and Greco-Persian subculture thrived in the centers of ‘Abbāsid Baghdad that molded and shaped the ways in which this love story was compiled, received and performed. Offering a corrective to the prevailing views expressed in Western scholarly writings on the Greco-Arabian encounter, this book is a major contribution to scholars and students interested in Islamic studies, Arabic and comparative literature, Middle East and gender studies.
Description : Recasting French literary history in terms of the cultures and peoples that interacted within and outside of France's national boundaries, this volume offers a new way of looking at the history of a national literature, along with a truly global and contemporary understanding of language, literature, and culture. The relationship between France's national territory and other regions of the world where French is spoken and written (most of them former colonies) has long been central to discussions of "Francophonie." Boldly expanding such discussions to the whole range of French literature, the essays in this volume explore spaces, mobilities, and multiplicities from the Middle Ages to today. They rethink literary history not in terms of national boundaries, as traditional literary histories have done, but in terms of a global paradigm that emphasizes border crossings and encounters with "others." Contributors offer new ways of reading canonical texts and considering other texts that are not part of the traditional canon. By emphasizing diverse conceptions of language, text, space, and nation, these essays establish a model approach that remains sensitive to the specificities of time and place and to the theoretical concerns informing the study of national literatures in the twenty-first century.
Description : Crisis and Memory: The Representation of Space in Modern Levantine Narrative, edited by Ken Seigneurie, explores the literary representation of social and political crises that have punctuated the second half of the twentieth-century in the Middle East. From the creation of the state of Israel and its continuing aftermath, to the Suez crisis, to the expulsion of the PLO from Jordan, to the Lebanese civil war, literature "has been there" but seldom has it been considered a useful lens for understanding the ground of these crises. This collection of essays aims to show how literature can illuminate crises of ethnicity, gender, class, religion, and nation. Contributors hail from several countries and display a variety of critical approaches but all focus on the representation of space in narrative.