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Politics of Nostalgia in the Arabic NovelNation-State, Modernity and Tradition$
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Wen-chin Ouyang

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748655694

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748655694.001.0001

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History

History

Chapter:
(p.142) (p.143) Chapter 5 History
Source:
Politics of Nostalgia in the Arabic Novel
Author(s):

Wen-chin Ouyang

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748655694.003.0005

The Arabic novel writes the history of the nation-state in the form of novelised autobiography, biography biographical dictionary of prophets, political leaders, heroes of Islam, and the common folk. As it does so, it confronts the Arab mythical past, unravels the mystique of its power and attempts to lessen its burden on the present. Naguib Mahfouz, heir to the project of the nationalisation of history begun in the nineteenth century, such as 'Ali Mubarak, explores mythification in the tradition of biblical and Islamic tales of the prophets in Children of the Alley (Awlad haratina), and shows how the past is reified and acquires the status of myth. History is the story of selective remembering and forgetting and is as such personal and open to infinite rewriting.

Keywords:   History, autobiography, biography, nationalisation of history, myth, 'Ali Mubarak, Najib Mahfuz (Naguib Mahfouz)

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