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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the development of the novel in Iraq. It first considers the beginnings of prose narrative in Iraq, using the intermingling of the short story and the novel, particularly in the first half of the twentieth century, as a framework for reassessing the formal qualities of the Arabic novel. It then turns to romantic and historical novels published in the 1920s, as well as novels dealing with social issues like poverty and the condition of peasants in the countryside. It discusses the narrative emergence of the bourgeois intellectual’s self-awareness and interiority in Iraqi fiction, especially the novella; works that continued the expression of a critical social realism in the Iraqi novelistic tradition and the appearance of modernist aesthetics; and narratives that addressed dictatorship and war in Iraq. The chapter concludes with an overview of the novel genre in Iraq after 2003.

Keywords: Iraq, prose, romanticism, historical novel, novella, social realism, Iraqi novel, dictatorship, war, intellectual

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