‘A Sly, Mid-Atlantic Appropriation’: Ireland, the United States, and Transnational Fictions of Spain
This chapter seeks to dislodge Irish America as the dominant referent in discussions of Irish transnationalism and investigate a substantial tradition that positions Spain as an important space in the Irish transnational imagination. The analysis is divided into two sections. The first provides an overview of some of the existing and emerging critical voices relating to Irish transnational fictions. It emphasizes the centrality of Irish America in extant discussions of transnationalism and points to alternative ways of conceptualizing how Ireland’s cultural, historical, economic, and environmental circumstances are enmeshed, literally and imaginatively, with those of other spaces and places. The second part focuses on how Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn (2009) might be read in relation to Kate O’Brien’s Mary Lavelle (1936) and Maura Laverty’s No More Than Human (1944) as a work that re-routes the iconic Irish-American transatlantic relationship through a much more capacious cis-Atlantic frame of reference.
This chapter examines the development of the novel in Algeria within the context of the country’s history. Much Algerian literature functions as a means of political expression. The social status of women has been an important theme, addressed either as a critique of patriarchy or through the notion of women’s voice. Since the early 1990s, literary publishing has increased in scope and diversity; while the different trajectories of the French and Arabic novel have come closer together, the range of political perspectives reflected in the novels has widened. This chapter provides an overview of Arabic literature and the French-language novel published in Algeria up to 1962 before turning to a discussion of the period 1962–1992. It then considers the novel since 1993, including the work of authors in exile who have established and gained international recognition for the Algerian Arabic novel.
This chapter examines the relationship between the Arabic novel and history within the context of the Arabic-speaking world, and in particular the process of producing a literary history of the novel genre written in Arabic. It first considers the early development of the novel genre in Arabic as part of a cultural movement that gained impetus in the nineteenth century, with particular emphasis on the interplay of two cultural forces: the importation of Western ideas (including literary genres) and the role of the premodern Arab-Islamic cultural heritage in each subregion. It then discusses examples of narrative from the premodern heritage of Arabic literature before turning to the history of the Arabic novel. The chapter also presents examples of the Arabic historical novel, one of which is Sālim Ḥimmīsh’s Al-‘Allāma (2001, The Polymath).
Christina E. Civantos
This chapter examines the main trends and themes found across the novels of the Hispano-American mahjar (place of exile and immigrant life), with particular emphasis on Argentina. It considers the Arab Hispano-American novel in the context of the local, national, and regional cultural spaces that the authors or their families left behind, as well as the ones they now inhabit. It analyzes Arabic-language novels and proto-novels (most of which fit within so-called “exile literature”) and Spanish-language novels produced by Arab immigrants to Argentina during the first half of the twentieth century. It also discusses works published in the latter half of the twentieth century across Hispano-America. Hispanic mahjar novels that tackle the theme of spirituality as a means to make sense of migration; the issue of language used by writers to tell the story of the Arab immigrant experience; and Arab heritage as a source of narrative creativity.
This chapter explores why the three twentieth-century writers who arguably did most to establish the short story as the quintessential Irish literary form—Frank O’Connor, Seán O’Faoláin, and Mary Lavin—fell short in the novel form. All three writers excelled in the shorter format, devoting meticulous care to their craft and revising and reshaping their stories many times, sometimes even after publication. Furthermore, O’Connor and O’Faoláin wrote influential critical studies of the modern short story, and Lavin was a perceptive arbiter of its aesthetic value and potential. As novelists, however, all three published works that, in the view of critics and also the writers themselves, were failures. The chapter critically examines the reasons that underpin such judgements.
Sarah M. Quesada
This chapter draws from Tomás Rivera’s poetry and Rudolfo Anaya’s short story “The Man Who Could Fly” (2006) to read continuities of an Atlantic world formation within the Southwest. Specifically, this essay compares paradigms of a remembered “Congo” informed by dialectics of empire concerning both Central African exploration—in the case of Rivera—and plantational Latin American and American slavery—in the case of Anaya. While this article argues that in the case of Rivera, Henry Stanley’s exploration haunts the spatialization of Rivera’s poetry, in Anaya, by contrast, Atlantic continuities are chiefly embedded in a transnational comparison with Latin American Caribbean writers such as Gabriel García Márquez and Alejo Carpentier. Applying Caribbean thinker Edouard Glissant’s theorization of “Relation” to these Chicano narratives, this chapter decodes the racial geographies of the Southwest to theorize how landscape and fiction work together to memorialize subaltern Atlantic memory.
This chapter examines the development of the Arab Australian novel since its beginnings, surveying works produced in Arabic and English by three generations of Arab Australian authors. It first considers David Malouf, whose Johnno (1975) marks the beginning of the Arab Australian novel, before turning to first-generation immigrants who introduced the Arabic-language novel in the 1980s and the English-language immigrant novel in the mid-1990s. It then discusses the contribution of the second-generation Arab Australians in the literary field. It shows that the Arab Australian novel is more than just an “immigrant narrative,” or fictional “Arab voices in Diaspora,” and that all Arab Australian novelists, except for Malouf, are preoccupied with the questions of home and identity.
This chapter will examine Dante both as an historical author as well as the ‘author figure’ he performs in his texts, with particular attention to the tension between these two forms of authorship. The chapter proceeds through three interrelated sections: 1) Dante-poet and Dante-character; 2) Authorship and authority; and 3) Dante and autobiography. In each section the focus is not just on what Dante-the-author is but also on what Dantean authorship does. The casting of himself as the character of some of his works, the establishment of the authoritative status of vernacular poets alongside the ancients, and the ‘pact’ made with his readers are all strategies in the creation of his truly original figure of the author.
Barbara Michalak-Pikulska and Waïl S. Hassan
This chapter examines the development of the novel in Bahrain. It first provides an overview of the beginnings of the literary movement in Bahrain, noting the role played by the press in the development of modern Bahraini literature, particularly prose genres. It then looks at the first generation of Bahraini authors, including Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Malik, who began publishing short stories in 1966, and ‘Abd Allah Khalīfa, whose early fiction contains realistic representations of life centered on the sea. The chapter also discusses a number of Bahraini novels written by the second generation of Bahraini authors, including Walīd Hāshim, Fatḥiyya Nā ṣir, and Aḥmad al-Mu’adhdhin.
Through a wide-angle exposition of the history of authorship that takes us back to Mesopotamia, Ancient Greec,e and Early China as well as medieval Europe, this chapter shows how, for much of human life, textuality and authorship were mutually imbricated constructs. Not only have readers regularly sought out biographical details to illuminate literary fictions; they also in many instances treated literary texts not as a goal in their own right, but rather as a means of shedding light on life stories. Furthermore, authors routinely drew previously existing texts back into their own ambit, working on them as compilers or commentators, not least in order to shore up their own identity. When these trends are seen across the longue durée of world literary history in its most expansive sense, a quite different understanding of what it might mean to author a text emerges that draws on fundamentally different notions of individuality and origin from those that are routinely—and perhaps quite misleadingly—invoked in the modern period.
This chapter discusses the complications of the human body as it appears in Dante’s Commedia. The chapter argues for the body’s fiery potential, the way it challenges some of the schemes according to which Dante’s poem at first seems to be organized. In the depths of hell as on the slopes of purgatory, as in the eccentric centres of heaven, bodies burn: but this burning is, above all, the sign of their deepest mystery, rather than a symptom of eternal foreclosure. Dante thus gives his readers the remarkably equivocal evidence for how there may always, in his world as in any other, be more to be seen and more to be felt; and for how the human body may be most fully human when it is most fully open—to resignification, to desire, to the adjacent particularities of other human bodies, and to its own unsoundable surfaces and depths.
Waïl S. Hassan
This chapter examines the development of the Arabic novel in Brazil. Arab immigrants who went to Brazil to work as peddlers were labeled turcos, a term that has given rise to the most enduring stereotype of Arabs in Brazil. After discussing the beginnings of Arab immigration in Brazil and the rest of the American hemisphere, the chapter considers some of the novels written in Arabic by immigrants in Brazil. Next, it discusses Lusophone Arab Brazilian novelists who have written about Arab immigration or ethnicity. Their novels can be roughly divided into three groups: works by immigrants’ children that depict the immigrant experience, often nostalgically; works that analyze the conflicts of immigrants’ children as they integrate themselves into Brazilian society; and works that enact a countermovement toward Arab culture on the part of third-generation Arab Brazilians.
Geoffrey P. Nash
This chapter examines the development of Arab British fiction. It begins with an overview of the making of Arab British fiction, citing anti-colonialism, Orientalism, and hybridization as the main elements of Anglophone Arab writing up to the close of the twentieth century. It then considers British novels about Egypt in which paternalistic “genuine love” for, and “wise understanding” of, the politics of Egypt overlaid colonial attitudes. It also analyzes Arab British fiction in relation to the colonial experience Arabs received from British domination in Arab lands, which lasted from the end of World War I to the early 1950s. Finally, it discusses postcolonial crosscurrents in the works of Arab British women, along with the predicament of exile and Diasporic consciousness in male Arab British fiction.
This chapter examines the development of the Arab Canadian novel, first by discussing the history of Arab immigration and the Canadian cultural and political landscape. It then considers the beginnings of Arabic fiction in Canada, focusing on Arab Canadian literary figures such as Sa‘d al-Khādim, along with early novels written in French and English. It also looks at playwrights who have written novels and discusses works with contemporary cultural politics as the main theme. The chapter reveals that Arab Canadians and Quebecois are actively involved in many literary, cultural, and activist scenes, as reflected in works that expose racism and the myths of official multiculturalism.
This chapter shows how the methods and approaches of Celebrity Studies throw fresh light on what authors and literature can do in the world. In particular, the divide between elite and popular fiction turns out to be illusory once we start paying attention to the way authors and their works actually move around. Combining celebrity theory with a practical analysis of the networks sustaining literature allows us to examine afresh the ways and degrees to which authors accrue ‘attention capital’ and from which social groupings, and why. Working through examples taken from the early modern period to the present day, this chapter provides a model approach not only for seeing beyond the individual author to witness the complex networks of agents involved in the process of authorship—from editors to translators, agents, and readers, and so on—but also for placing the question of agency once again at the heart of that process.
Eastern Europe has been provocatively defined as ‘that part of the world where serious literature and those who produce it have traditionally been overvalued’ (Baruch Wachtel Remaining Relevant after Communism (2006)). This situation arose because of the particular modes of production and circulation of texts brought about by strict censorship and routine state interference in literary matters. This chapter illustrates how this shaped a model of the Russian writer as ‘conscience of the nation’ and opponent of tyranny. It then traces what happens to this model of authorship in the post-Soviet era in the face of different forms of censorship. Despite there no longer being official pre-publication censorship, legislation that limits freedom of expression has created the pervasive phenomenon of ‘self-censorship’ or ‘censorship readiness’ among authors and other agents in the literary field.
Heba El Attar
This chapter examines the literary work of the Arab diaspora in Chile, with particular emphasis on the Arab-Chilean, Syrian-Lebanese, and Palestinian-Chilean novels. It begins with an overview of the history of Arab immigration to Chile and how Arab immigrants were able to assimilate into Chilean society through their literary creativity. It then considers previous scholarship on the Arab-Chilean novel, which typically embodied several different stages of the journey to and within Chile: displacement, nostalgia, alienation, and integration. It also discusses the Syrian-Lebanese novel and the main themes of the Palestinian-Chilean novel, which include Palestine prior to the Partition, along with works that invoke border crossing. Finally, it explains how Palestinian immigrants succeeded over time in accumulating a twofold cultural capital in Chile.
Dante is a ‘civic author’ and a ‘poet of the city’, but what do these labels mean? This chapter envisions the civitas (community) as an emotional and intellectual pivot of Dante’s theological-political thought and literary imagination. The comprehensive analysis of the uses of civitas(and synonyms) in Dante’s lexicon deploys its rich semantic field in the framework of typical late medieval tensions and cleavages. The chapter also focusses on some fundamental problems inherent to this notion—its articulation with, on the one hand, the pluralitas and, on the other hand, the universal monarchy—and dismisses the hypothesis that Dante developed an anti-civitasstance during his life. Finally, the chapter points out the legacy of Dante’s typological approach, namely concerning the new importance attributed to history, gendered personifications, and authorship in a vernacular literary work.
Zygmunt Guido Barański
The chapter examines the medieval idea of the literary ‘classic’—a notion that discriminated between ‘major’ and ‘minor’ authors (auctores maiores and auctores minores) to establish the status and function of both groups in Dante. It thus focuses not only on the ways in which the poet may have read ‘authoritative’ writers, but also on how and when he came into contact with their works. Specifically, the manner in which Dante utilized pagan writers is profoundly shaped by the commentary traditions on their works, by their presence in later writers, and by their exemplary status in an extremely wide range of genres from Scriptural exegesis to teaching manuals. Equally, the question of when and where Dante may have read, or whether he had even read in full, particular texts and authors is crucial when endeavouring to establish the poet’s education and intellectual formation (this chapter offers an illustrative account of Dante’s access to Virgil’s works).
This chapter demonstrates how the process of constructing a theory of authorship around a single individual, writing independently or authoring in solitary isolation, has become untenable. New media technologies make new forms of authorship possible and invite alternative methods of conceptualizing an author—from zines, to the Web 2.0, to comics. This chapter thus presents an overview of recent philosophical approaches to the question of collaborative authorship and advocates for an approach to the phenomenon that would rely less on authorial intentions than it would on commitments. The distinction has obvious implications for theories of authorship more generally: to call yourself an author, so it suggests, you have to be willing also to take ethical and intellectual ownership of what you have written.