The emergence of Science Fiction in Arabic can be traced back to the second part of the 19 th century, but this genre has often been neglected by critics and academics. Nowadays we can recognize an increasing popularity of this literary production, with a large number of publications from Egypt, Lebanon, and even Yemen and Saudi Arabia. In last April the literary panorama of the Arab world has been upset by the releasing of a novel, surprisingly coming from Saudi Arabia. Ibrāhīm ‘Abbās and Yāssir Bahjatt are the authors of Ha’WawJimNūn (or HWJN), a science fiction novel that was one of the country’s top-sellers since its release late April. The combination of science fiction and fantasy elements created a new literary atmosphere where the reader becomes able to deeply understand such elements of the Arab society. Banned in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait by the Saudi’s Hayaa (the Committee for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue) HWJN is one of the most spurring novels of the last years, where a complained lack of futureness and the “shutdown” of imagination typical of the Arab society becomes upside down. In this paper I’ll explore how the young Jinn, Hwjn, the main protagonist of the plot, tries to redefine our understanding of the jinny world and to create a sort of coexistence between the humans and his world. His attempt can be read as a new way to struggle against superstitions and traditional patterns, in order to quest for modernity in a country characterized by a strong traditional structure.

Between fantasy and ‘science fiction’: Saudi culture and society through the eyes of a Jinn / Barbaro, Ada. - (2018), pp. 181-202. (Intervento presentato al convegno 11th meeting of the EURAMAL (European Association for Modern Arabic Literature) tenutosi a Madrid).

Between fantasy and ‘science fiction’: Saudi culture and society through the eyes of a Jinn

Barbaro, Ada
2018

Abstract

The emergence of Science Fiction in Arabic can be traced back to the second part of the 19 th century, but this genre has often been neglected by critics and academics. Nowadays we can recognize an increasing popularity of this literary production, with a large number of publications from Egypt, Lebanon, and even Yemen and Saudi Arabia. In last April the literary panorama of the Arab world has been upset by the releasing of a novel, surprisingly coming from Saudi Arabia. Ibrāhīm ‘Abbās and Yāssir Bahjatt are the authors of Ha’WawJimNūn (or HWJN), a science fiction novel that was one of the country’s top-sellers since its release late April. The combination of science fiction and fantasy elements created a new literary atmosphere where the reader becomes able to deeply understand such elements of the Arab society. Banned in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait by the Saudi’s Hayaa (the Committee for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue) HWJN is one of the most spurring novels of the last years, where a complained lack of futureness and the “shutdown” of imagination typical of the Arab society becomes upside down. In this paper I’ll explore how the young Jinn, Hwjn, the main protagonist of the plot, tries to redefine our understanding of the jinny world and to create a sort of coexistence between the humans and his world. His attempt can be read as a new way to struggle against superstitions and traditional patterns, in order to quest for modernity in a country characterized by a strong traditional structure.
2018
11th meeting of the EURAMAL (European Association for Modern Arabic Literature)
Arabic literature; literary canon; comparative literature; science fiction; Saudi literature
04 Pubblicazione in atti di convegno::04b Atto di convegno in volume
Between fantasy and ‘science fiction’: Saudi culture and society through the eyes of a Jinn / Barbaro, Ada. - (2018), pp. 181-202. (Intervento presentato al convegno 11th meeting of the EURAMAL (European Association for Modern Arabic Literature) tenutosi a Madrid).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1290447
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