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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the development of the novelistic tradition in Lebanon. It first provides an overview of the complex relationship between the Lebanese novel and nation-state before considering works published prior to the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War. It then examines novels that appeared during the war years (1975–1990), along with novels written either during or immediately after the war but set in the nineteenth or early twentieth century. It also looks at contemporary postwar novels that vary from realistic to fantastical, from epistolary to first-person narrative, and from fuṣ ḥa to colloquial Arabic. The chapter describes the violence that characterizes the current period, citing as examples the slew of political assassinations and abductions, Israeli attacks, Hizballah takeovers, turmoil in the Palestinian camps, sectarian battles in Tripoli, and suicide car bombings, all reflected in the contemporary Lebanese novel.

Keywords: Lebanon, Lebanese novel, Lebanese Civil War, realism, Tripoli, nation-state

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