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Blogging from EgyptDigital Literature, 2005-2016$
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Teresa Pepe

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474433990

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433990.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

When Writers Activate Readers

When Writers Activate Readers

(p.123) 4 When Writers Activate Readers
Blogging from Egypt

Teresa Pepe

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter looks at the ways in which the blog transforms adab and in particular the autobiographical genre in Arabic literature. Drawing on theories of autofiction, digital literature and Arabic print literature, it explores the innovative features of autofictional blogs resulting from the adoption of Internet technology. These are (1) interactivity, (2) the blurring of the author/main character, (3) the multimedia, open nature of the blog texts, and (4) their stylistic features. By depicting modes of interaction between readers and writers in the Egyptian blogosphere, the chapter shows how the autofictional blog transforms the practice of writing the self into an interactive game to be played among authors and readers, away from the gatekeepers of the literary institutions. This game requires the readers to be active participants in the interpretation of the text by discovering the blurred identity hidden behind the screen; to find their way in the open, multimedia text; and to contribute actively to the plot and style of the narrative. An aspect related to the interactivity of blogs is “audience gatekeeping”, that is that, in the absence of gatekeepers, readers may themselves take charge of this task, sometimes turning into “online haters”.

Keywords:   Adab, Autobiographical genre, Digital literature, Arabic literature, Interactivity, Open text, Multimedia, Audience Gatekeeping, Online haters

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