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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022

Heart Deserts: Memory and Myth between Life and Death in Asharaf al-Khumaysi’s Manafi al-rabb and Miral al-Tahawi’s The Tent

Heart Deserts: Memory and Myth between Life and Death in Asharaf al-Khumaysi’s Manafi al-rabb and Miral al-Tahawi’s The Tent

Chapter:
(p.124) 4 Heart Deserts: Memory and Myth between Life and Death in Asharaf al-Khumaysi’s Manafi al-rabb and Miral al-Tahawi’s The Tent
Source:
Minorities in the Contemporary Egyptian Novel
Author(s):

Mary Youssef

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415415.003.0005

The principality of the desert and Bedouin figure in Manafi al-rabb and The Tent mark their new-consciousness departure from anchoring Egyptian modern selfhood to predominant imaginings and conjectures of Egypt as deeply entrenched in agrarian roots and/or urbanized spaces in colonial and postcolonial contexts. While Manafi al-rabb challenges the disjunctions between life and death, body and spirit, and reality and myth through the its main character’s discovery of their connectedness in the magical desert realm, The Tent re-inscribes female inspirational and creative enterprise in contemporary male-dominated Bedouin culture. It also contrasts the value of women’s creative work in Bedouin cultural memory and heritage—as they appear in legends and folktales—with their current subordination. This chapter examines how both novels emphasize the significance of human love and unity between the self and the other by highlighting the destructive effect of the modern cultural conditions that split and disjoin them.

Keywords:   Asharaf al-Khumaysi, Miral al-Tahawi (Miral al-Tahawy), Desert, Bedouin, Myth, Death, Cultural Memory, Legends, Folktales, Women

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