Arab Today, arab today latest in a string of historyobsessed arabic novels
Last Updated : GMT 15:33:26
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Latest in a string of history-obsessed Arabic novels

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Latest in a string of history-obsessed Arabic novels

London - Arabstoday

Arguing for the primacy of history writing to the effort of human beings to understand themselves, the great historian of western culture Jacques Barzun writes: \"The use of history is for the person. History is formative. Its spectacle of continuity in chaos, of attainment in the heart of disorder, of purpose in the world is what nothing else provides: science denies it, art only invents it.\" This is an ingenious argument. But can we let it pass before considering what the novel form, which comes under Barzun\'s rubric of \"art\", might have to say in reply? After all, novelists often imagine the private lives of individuals from past eras, or reprise well-known historical events allegorically. Can such work be dismissed simply as \"invention\"? Might it not be more true to say that at least in the best instances - Tolstoy in War and Peace, Rushdie in his comic linking of national and personal histories in Midnight\'s Children, the Indian novelist Yashpal in his epic novel about the partition of colonial India This Is Not That Dawn - the novelist is not just as much an agent and an adept of history as the historian? Such books might be said not to be history in the formal sense, but they are doubly so in a more informal way. They show us how \"the use of history is for the person\" not just at the level of writerly conception, but also inside the story, through the spectacle of protagonists being pressured by history, by past and present matrices. A particularly revealing consideration of this question in the context of Arabic history and Arabic art might be found in the history-obsessed books of the Egyptian novelist Gamal al-Ghitani. Al-Ghitani is one of modern Arabic literature\'s most prominent voices - founder and longtime editor-in-chief of the Arabic literary weekly Akhbar Al-Adab, recipient of a Zayed Book Award and the Lettre Ulysses Award, and briefly jailed in the 1960s for his criticism of Gamal Abdel Nasser\'s repressive state. Hs books include Pyramid Texts, set in the Pharaonic Egypt before the advent of Islam, the great novel Zayni Barakat, set in the Mamluk era but also an allegory of Egypt under Nasser, and now the newly translated The Book of Epiphanies, which roves freely across a thousand years of Arab and Egyptian history. Across these works, al-Ghitani makes a collage of the multifarious roots of Egyptian identity more complex than the nationalist identities asserted by the repressive Egyptian regimes of the 20th, or the new Egyptian identity asserted by the recent revolution and culminating in the victory for the Muslim Brotherhood in last year\'s elections. And stylistically, al-Ghitani draws on the indigenous traditions of Arabic narrative - works of history and philosophy by Islamic historians, Sufi parables and poems - to produce novels that might be thought of as Arabic not just in content but also in form. This endeavour might be thought of as the shared project of the second generation of great Arabic novelists - writers from the 1960s onward like al-Ghitani, Sonallah Ibrahim, Elias Khoury and Emile Habibi - moving on from earlier pioneering works, such as Naguib Mahfouz\'s Cairo Trilogy, that adapted the form of the western realist novel more or less wholesale to life in Egypt and the Arab world. (It is a tribute to Mahfouz\'s narrative agility that his work represents the concerns of this second generation just as surely as he embodied the first.)  

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today latest in a string of historyobsessed arabic novels Arab Today, arab today latest in a string of historyobsessed arabic novels

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordan airline suggests flyers 'talk'

GMT 11:59 2017 Friday ,24 March

Jordan airline suggests flyers 'talk'
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes

GMT 08:35 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes
View News in Arabic - Culture: بأقلامهم
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Yemen children dream of school

GMT 07:25 2017 Friday ,24 March

Yemen children dream of school
Arab Today, arab today MP submits a petition to dismiss university head

GMT 06:21 2017 Friday ,24 March

MP submits a petition to dismiss university head
Arab Today, arab today Salvage of South Korea's Sewol ferry

GMT 04:51 2017 Friday ,24 March

Salvage of South Korea's Sewol ferry
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design

GMT 13:22 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design
Arab Today, arab today Renault Trezor wins design award

GMT 11:56 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Renault Trezor wins design award
Arab Today, arab today Haifa Wahby bets on her new drama show

GMT 06:04 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Haifa Wahby bets on her new drama show
Arab Today, arab today 2017 already marked

GMT 15:25 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

2017 already marked

GMT 07:03 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

Merna Waleed praises her work with Soad Hosni

GMT 22:00 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Number of unwedded girls amounts to 2.5m

GMT 10:34 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 22:19 2017 Friday ,24 March

Reveals reasons of hepatitis in Algeria

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

US, Britain ban laptops on flights

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday