Postmodernist Arab American Novels, Poetry, and Theory: Comparative Readings of Six Works Conversing with Egyptian and Chicana Literature

Author: El-Meligi, Eman
Year:2015
Pages:208
ISBN:1-4955-0291-0
978-1-4955-0291-0
Price:179.95
This book, on Postmodernist Arab American literature, offers comparative readings informed by theories and approaches by Foucault, Gramsci, Baudrillard, Said, Gilbert and Gubar, Lyotard, Genette, Deleuze and Guttari, Hutcheon, as well as Saldivar, Villa and Anzaldua.

“Living Theory: A Comparative Reading of Feminist-Postcolonial Resonances in Leila Ahmed’s A Border Passage (1999) and Postmodernist Reflections in Ihab Hassan’s Out of Egypt” (1986), studies the two autobiographies as an embodiment and reflection of critical and literary theory. “The Text and the World: Foucauldian and Gramscian Resonances in Historiographic Metafictional Prison Narratives,” offers a comparative reading of Sinan Antoon’sI’jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody and the Egyptian Nawal El Saadawi’s Memoirs from the Woman’s Prison. “The Arabian Nights as a Postmodern Arab American Counternarrative,” offers a comparative reading of “Rhizome,” “Thick Description” and Minority Discourse in Jack Marshall’s The Arabian Nights (1986) and Moha Kahf’s E-Mails from Sheherazad (2003). “Technique as Culture in Postmodern Ethnic American novel,” offers a feminist cultural reading of “Barrio-Logos” of the “Nueva Mestiza” in Sandra Cisneros’ Caramelo and Diana Abu-Jaber’s Crescent, reading Arab American borderland novel genre within the discursive framework of Chicana critical and cultural theory.

The hermeneutical counternarrative offered by the above writers is a very practical and reflexive one that is told in an exaggeratedly rhetorical or oratorical manner, even when politics, history, dictatorship, exile and imperialism are always lurking at the background. With their nomadic body without organs, Arab American writers have voiced and contextualized their minority discourse. This has been mainly done through technique, acting as culture and embodying the rhizome troupe, elucidating the assemblage of nomadic identities in constant formation and flux.

Reviews

“She is the ideal twenty-first century writer, in that she uses an instinctive and innate knowledge of psychology to determine why characters in postcolonial texts are made to function the way they do… This useful text focuses on a variety of creative works that indeed are remarkable in themselves and benefit considerably from El-Meligi’s examination of them.
-Nadya Chishty-Mujahid,
Ph.D. English Literature
The Institute of Business Administration, Karachi

Table of Contents

Foreword by Professor Nadya Chishty-Mujahid
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Chapter One:
Living Theory: A Comparative Reading of Feminist-Postcolonial Resonances in Leila Ahmend’s A Border Passage and Postmodernist Reflections in Ihab Hassan’s Out of Egypt Objectives
Symbolism of Title
Harem: Ahmed and Women’s Studies
Women and Islam: The Veil and Ahmed’s Feminist-Postcolonial Perspective
Theory in Practice: Minority Literature, Postmodernism Incarnate
The Here and Now: Setting and Time in Hassan
Initiation Journey: Radically Innocent Heroes
Between Autobiography and Criticism: A Question of Identity
Notes
Works Cited
Chapter Two: The Text and the World: Foucauldian and Gramscian Resonances in Historiographic Metafictional Prison Narratives: Case Studies of Sinan Antoon’s I’jaam and Nawal El Saadawi’s Memoirs from the Women’s Prison
Hegemony Dismantled: The Word and the Text
The Panopticon: Knowledge and Power
Dismantling Authenticity: Historiographic Metafiction
Naqt and I’jaam: Dotting and Diacritics:
The Alphabet and Historiographic Metafiction
Panopticon and Postmodernism: Resistance to Hegemony
The Text and the World: Intertextuality and Hegemony
Representations of the Intellectual: Absurdism or Magic Realism?
The Text and the World: Historiographic Metafiction in Saadawi
The Pen and the Sword: Panopticon and Magic Realism
The Grandmother: ‘Womb-Tomb’ and ‘Waiting for Godot’ Motifs
Hegemony, Capitalism and Feminism: Greater Middle East and New World Order
Notes
Works Cited
Chapter Three: The Arabian Nightsas a Postmodernist Arab American Counternarrative: A Comparative Reading of “Rhizome,” “Thick Description” and Minority Discourse in Jack Marshall’s The Arabian Nights and Mohja Kahf’s E-Mails from Scheherazad
Rhizome
Deterritorialization
Minority Literature
Thick Description
Arabian Nights as Minority Discourse
Marshall and Double Minority
Schahrazad: Kahf and Stereotypes
Marshall and Kahf: Renarrating the Nation
Notes
Works Cited
Chapter Four: Technique as Culture in Postmodernist Ethnic American Novel: A Feminist-Cultural Reading of “Barrio-Logos” of the “Nueva Mestiza” in Sandra Cisneros’ Carmelo and Diana Abu-Haber’s Crescent
Barrio-Logos
Nueva Mestiza
Cisneros and Abu-Jaber
Paratextuality and Metafiction: Borderlands of the Text
Print Techniques, Cultural Translation and Nueva Mestiza
Footnotes, the Rebozo and Pop Culture
‘Merican’ as Border Trope: Interlinguality and Historicity
Arabian Nights and Lala’s Self-Reflexive Counter-narrative
Drowned Arab: Hollywood and Arabian Nights in Crescent
Magic Realism and Rewriting the Slave/Exile Narrative
Interlinguality, Metafiction: Alieph Reinscribing Narrative
From Andalucía to Drowned Arabs
The Barrio-Logos of the Nueva Mestiza
Pop Culture at the Barrio-Logos
Native Informant and Postmodernist Paranoia
Paratexts and Food as the Objective Correlative
Notes
Bibliography
Conclusion
Index