Considers the Arabic novel within the triangle of the nation-state, modernity and tradition
Wen-Chin Ouyang explores the development of the Arabic novel, especially the ways in it engages with aesthetics, ethics and politics in a cross-cultural context and from a transnational perspective.
Taking love and desire as the central tropes , the story of the Arabic novel is presented as a series of failed, illegitimate love affairs, all tainted by its suspicion of the legitimacy of the nation, modernity and tradition and, above all, by its misgiving about its own propriety.
- Authors studied include Naguib Mahfouz; Ghassan Kanafani; Ibrahim Nasrallah; Emil Habiby; Jamal al-Ghitani; Ali Mubarak, Muhammad al-Muwaylihi, Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, Khalil Hawi and Salah 'Abd al-Sabur
- Works studied include Arabian Nights and Maqamat
- Addresses issues such as nation & nationalism, Arabic poetics of love, modernity & modernisation; the politics of desire, the poetics of space, women & cartography of nation, identity and intertexutality
Prologue: Presenting the Past: the Arabic Novel and Dialectics of Modernisation
Part I: Mapping the Nation
Part II: Love
3. Legitimacy of the Nation
4. Impropriety of the State
Part III: Desire
Afterword: Politics of the Past