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Minorities in the Contemporary Egyptian Novel$
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Mary Youssef

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474415415

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415415.001.0001

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History and Representations of Otherness in Idris ʿAli’s al-Nubi and Bahaʾ Tahir’s Sunset Oasis

History and Representations of Otherness in Idris ʿAli’s al-Nubi and Bahaʾ Tahir’s Sunset Oasis

Chapter:
(p.42) 1 History and Representations of Otherness in Idris ʿAli’s al-Nubi and Bahaʾ Tahir’s Sunset Oasis
Source:
Minorities in the Contemporary Egyptian Novel
Author(s):

Mary Youssef

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415415.003.0002

Al-Nubi and Sunset Oasis re-write the past experiences of Nubian and Amazigh minorities with postcolonial and colonial institutions, respectively, to reveal their unjust policies of “differentiation” and/or eradication of difference. The novels depict critical and dynamic areas of interaction and tension among their racially and culturally diverse characters, on one level, and among the allegedly homogenous Nubian and Amazigh communities, on the other, to disrupt essentialist perceptions of these significant groups. The distinct character of each novel lies in what Walter Benjamin describes as the authors’ “craftsmanship” and ability to draw from experience, theirs or others’, in storytelling. The chapter identifies that ᶜAli treats Nubian subordination from a shaᶜbi/public writer’s position, while Tahir adopts an intellectual’s stance in addressing the Amazigh’s. It examines how ᶜAli’s and Tahir’s commonality of goal and critical perspective, yet difference in treating state marginalization of both Nubians and Amazigh translate in their unique aesthetic choices.

Keywords:   Nubians, Amazigh, Colonialism, Postcolonial State, Differentiation, Bahaʾ Tahir (BahaaTaher), Idris ʿAli (Idris Ali), Walter Benjamin, Aesthetics, Otherness

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