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Street lives, roof lives. Literary transformations of Arab urban spaces after Mahfouz


Schlote, Christiane (2011). Street lives, roof lives. Literary transformations of Arab urban spaces after Mahfouz. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 47(5):524-535.

Abstract

Drawing on recent studies of new cosmopolitanisms, this paper explores Arab writers’ use of space as a literary category in post-Mahfouz Arab urban fiction. By tracing conceptualizations of cosmopolitanism in the Middle East and by identifying and comparing the literary transformations of urban social experiences in Ghada Samman’s Beirut ’75 (1975), Muhammad Kamil al-Khatib’s Just Like a River (1984) and Alaa al Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building (2002), and the writers’ attempts to overcome the ambiguous binary between national and cosmopolitan perspectives, this article aims to situate the novels’ main themes of urban violence, class and gender inequality, consumerism and social exclusion within a broader geopolitical framework.

Drawing on recent studies of new cosmopolitanisms, this paper explores Arab writers’ use of space as a literary category in post-Mahfouz Arab urban fiction. By tracing conceptualizations of cosmopolitanism in the Middle East and by identifying and comparing the literary transformations of urban social experiences in Ghada Samman’s Beirut ’75 (1975), Muhammad Kamil al-Khatib’s Just Like a River (1984) and Alaa al Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building (2002), and the writers’ attempts to overcome the ambiguous binary between national and cosmopolitan perspectives, this article aims to situate the novels’ main themes of urban violence, class and gender inequality, consumerism and social exclusion within a broader geopolitical framework.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:December 2011
Deposited On:05 Mar 2012 10:24
Last Modified:14 May 2016 08:06
Publisher:Routledge
ISSN:1744-9855
Publisher DOI:10.1080/17449855.2011.614789

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