Modern Arabic Literature (The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature)

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9780521028530: Modern Arabic Literature (The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature)

This volume of the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature provides the first authoritative, comprehensive, critical survey of creative writing in Arabic from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. The rise of secular education, printing and journalism created a new reading public, and Western ideas and literary forms, notably the novel, the short story, and drama, became influential. This book examines the attempts made by Arab men and women to adapt the imported forms as well as the indigenous literary tradition to meet the requirements of the modern world. Quoted material is given in English translation and there is an extensive bibliography.

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Book Description:

This volume of the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature provides an authoritative, comprehensive critical survey of creative writing in Arabic from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.

From the Back Cover:

This book provides the first authoritative, comprehensive critical survey of creative writing in Arabic from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, a period which saw profound changes in the very concept of literature. Muhammad Ali's drive for modernization in Egypt early in the nineteenth century began a process of westernization which gathered momentum, eventually spreading from Egypt and Syria to the rest of the Arab world, aided by the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. With the spread of secular education, printing and journalism, a new reading public appeared. A significant translation movement resulted in the borrowing of Western ideas as well as of literary forms: the novel, the short story and drama. Against the background of the rise of nationalism, the conflict between Islam and westernization, and the search for identity (intensified later by diverse ideologies), the traditional conception of literature as a display of verbal skill was replaced by the view that literature should reflect and indeed change social and political reality. The contributors to this volume of the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature examine the attempts made by Arab men and women to adapt the new imported forms as well as the indigenous literary tradition to meet the requirements of the modern world, and their achievement in making a major contribution to world literature.

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