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Literary Autobiography and Arab National Struggles$
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Tahia Abdel Nasser

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420228

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420228.001.0001

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From Solitude to Stealth: Taha Hussein and Sonallah Ibrahim

From Solitude to Stealth: Taha Hussein and Sonallah Ibrahim

(p.18) 1 From Solitude to Stealth: Taha Hussein and Sonallah Ibrahim
Literary Autobiography and Arab National Struggles

Tahia Abdel Nasser

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the foundational three-volume autobiography in Arabic literature by Egyptian reformer Taha Hussein and an autobiographical novel by Egyptian writer Sonallah Ibrahim. The two works rework the form through important historical, cultural, and literary junctures. The chapter explores the ways in which Hussein’s The Days and Ibrahim’s Stealth blur the conventional borders between fiction and autobiography. One lays down the conventions of the autobiography of childhood and the other dramatically revises the genre. By focusing on a canonical autobiography and a seemingly conventional autobiographical novel, the chapter reads the reworking of the form from the twentieth to the twenty-first centuries in parallel with national developments and through the cultural status of the writers.

Keywords:   Taha Hussein, Sonallah Ibrahim, autobiography

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