This issue of Alif is devoted to travel and travel-writing in the broadest cross-cultural sense and focuses on what Mahmoud Manzalauoui has termed indigenes, visitants, sojourners, and habitants or metics, particularly in Egypt and the Middle East. It is a tribute to Middle East scholar and acclaimed travel writer John Rodenbeck. Essays in this issue take a variety of approaches, ranging from the historical to the analytical and philosophical. Contributors include Sahar Sobhi Abdel-Hakim, Fadwa Adbel Rahman, Michael Haag, JDF Jones, Ceza Kassem, Nabil Matar, Malise Ruthven, Sarah Searight, and Terry Walz.
Wanderlust: Travel Literature of Egypt and the Middle East
For sale worldwide
Also available by this author
The Arabian Nights in Comparative ContextFerial J. Ghazoul
The Book of a Thousand and One Nights, better known as The Arabian Nights, is a classic of world literature and the most universally known work of Arabic narrative. Although much has been written about it, Professor Ghazoul’s analysis is the first to apply modern critical methodology to the study of this intricate and much-admired literary masterpiece. The author draws on a wealth of critical tools — medieval Arabic aesthetics and poetics, mythology and folklore, allegory and comedy, postmodern literary criticism, and formal and structural analysis — to explain the specific genius of the The Arabian Nights. The author describes and examines the internal cohesion of the book, establishing its morphology and revealing the dialectics of the frame-story and enframed cycles of narrative. She discusses various forms of narrative — folk epics, animal fables, Sindbad voyages, and demon stories — and analyzes them in relation to narrative works from India, Europe, and the Americas. Covering an impressive range of writings, from ancient Indian classics to the works of Shakespeare and the modern writers Jorge Luis Borges and John Barth, she places The Arabian Nights in the context of an ongoing storytelling tradition and reveals its influence on world literature....read more
This book is only available for purchase from Egypt
Archaeology of Literature: Tracing the Old in the New
Edited by Ferial Ghazoul 75
Archaeology of Literature: Tracing the Old in the NewEdited by Ferial Ghazoul
This issue of Alif investigates the different strata constituting texts, and the presence of older material (myths, classics, hymns, rituals, romance, philosophical fragments, etc.) as subtexts in literature. Articles explore the processes and modalities of such inclusions in a given work or the corpus of an author. The issue also includes critical essays on the nature of continuity and correspondence in plots, characters, and styles as well as redeployment of older motifs in modern and postmodern works.
Contributors: English section: Walid Bitar, Leslie Croxford, Ananya Kabir, Rondo Keele, Steven Nimis, John Rodenbeck, Edward Said, Doris Shoukri, Mounira Soliman, Steffen Stelzer. Arabic section: Mohammed ‘Ajina, Mohammed Birairi, Ayman Al-Desouky, Hasab al-Sheikh Ja‘far, Scheherazade Hassan, Sami Mahdi, Samia Mehrez, Mai Muzaffar/Rafa Nasiri, Lamis Al-Nakkash/Doris Shoukri, Nagwa Sha‘ban....read more
The Desert: Human Geography and Symbolic Economy
Edited by Ferial Ghazoul 75
The Desert: Human Geography and Symbolic EconomyEdited by Ferial Ghazoul
This interdisciplinary issue of the literary journal Alif is devoted to the desert—as a geographical locus and symbolic image—and to various texts related to it, drawn from literature and the arts, history and anthropology, film and environmental studies. Scholars from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America contribute articles in Arabic, English, and French related to the visual representation of the desert in medieval iconography and in contemporary cinema, in American poetry and in pre-Islamic poetics, in human geography and in sociological thought, in French novels and in Arabic novels, in religious traditions and in ecological approaches, in travel literature and in critical discourse. Includes contributions by Saeed Alwakeel, Saad El Bazei, Sharif Elmusa, Jehan Farouk, Naglaa Hassan, Abdullah Ibrahim, Salma Mobarak, Senayon Olaoluwa, Yasmine Ramadan, Nathalie Roman, Randa Sabry....read more
The Language of the Self: Autobiographies and Testimonies
Edited by Ferial Ghazoul 75
The Language of the Self: Autobiographies and TestimoniesEdited by Ferial Ghazoul
Autobiography is a protean genre: it covers so many forms and styles. When narrating one’s life, the narrator has to choose what he or she considers to be relevant and decisive. Beside the differences on what is fundamental in a life, the notion of the Self is culturally defined and thus varies from one place to another. The author of an autobiographical text may express only a fragment of his or her life, follow a thread in the trajectory through reminiscences, memoir, diaries, testimony, interview, letters, poems, etc. The author may declare openly that he or she is identical with the protagonist or may give the principal character a different name or no name. The author may depict private or public events, at times taking imaginative license or even including fantastic motifs. Autobiographical discourse is not only culturally conditioned; it is also symptomatic of the cultural moment. Thus it is important to explore the varieties of self-presentation, and not assume a fixed paradigm.
In this revisionist spirit that looks for different and alternative ways of recording one’s life, Alif presents the autobiographical drive in multiple contexts: ancient and contemporary Egyptian; nineteenth-century and twentieth-century Arab, Moroccan, and Iraqi; South African and West African; Canadian and American; Palestinian and Sudanese; English and Irish; and even that of a hybrid background Chinese American and Algerian French. There has been a tremendous surge in autobiographical writing in recent years, and the field has been redefined by literary and cultural critics.
From James Olney (ed.), Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical (1980) to Dwight Reynolds (ed.), Interpreting the Self: Autobiography in the Arabic Literary Tradition (2001), a range of works have appeared challenging established views and approaches on the subject of autobiography. The epigraphs (whose English translation is drawn from the works mentioned above) attest to the complexity and diversity of motivations in writing about one’s past life....read more
Post-Colonial Discourse in South Asia
Edited by Stephen Alter 75
Post-Colonial Discourse in South AsiaEdited byStephen Alter
This issue of Alif explores a considerable variety of themes and problems that exist in contemporary South Asia, offering perspectives on poetry and fiction, popular culture and mythmaking, as well as the enduring resonance of Gandhian rhetoric and philosophy. Contributors confront environmental degradation and social injustice, post-colonial interpretations of Shakespeare, and the terrifying plague of AIDS, perhaps the first truly global epidemic. Despite the undeniably serious problems that afflict the people of South Asia, there is also much to celebrate after half a century of independence. There is a pervasive sense that the subcontinent has finally emerged from lingering shadows of the British Raj, asserting a new and ascendant identity, through art and literature, music, film, and popular culture. Alif Vol. 18...read more
16 color illus.