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Exploring Arab Folk Literature$
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Pierre Cachia

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640867

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640867.001.0001

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Two Perspectives on the ‘Other’ in Arabic Literature

Two Perspectives on the ‘Other’ in Arabic Literature

Chapter:
(p.161) 14 Two Perspectives on the ‘Other’ in Arabic Literature
Source:
Exploring Arab Folk Literature
Author(s):

Pierre Cachia

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640867.003.0014

This chapter discusses two prevailing perspectives on the ‘other’ in Arabic literature. The first section discusses the literature of the illiterate public and those who had not been introduced to the Western-style education in Egypt. It discusses the poetry and works of city-poets who were neither members of the establishment nor entirely at one with the masses, and who adopted verse forms of folk literature mainly for satirical purposes. The most famous of these is Bayram at-Tūnisī and following in his footsteps is the enormously popular Ahmad Fu'ād Nigm. The second section considers the different levels at which the ‘other’ impinges on a writer's conscious or subconscious mind. It focuses on how the Arab writer views the group against which he finds it necessary to measure himself.

Keywords:   Egypt, illiterate public, Arabic literature, Bayram at-Tūnisī, Ahmad Fu'ād Nigm, Arab writer, Western-style education

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