The aim of this paper is to give an example of how the relations between the Mashreq and the Maghreb are treated in Levantine contemporary Arabic literature. In order to attain this goal, the paper focuses in particular on two recent novels, both written by Jordanian authors: Bāb al-ḥayra (Confusion Gate, 2006) by Yaḥyà al-Qaysī and Ḥulm al-masāfāt al-baʿīda (Dream of the Great Distances, 2007) by Sulaymān al-Qawābaʿa. Although they have been published almost at the same time, these partially autobiographical novels recall two completely different seasons of Arab history: the first is set in Tunisia in the Nineties and tells the story of a university student, while the second plunges into the Algerian war of independence. These novels tell us much about how inter-Arab solidarity changed in shape and meaning through time: while in the Fifties and Sixties Panarabism was at its peak as a political ideology, as shown by al-Qawābaʿa’s novel, later on it became more a matter of belonging to the same cultural heritage, as al-Qaysī suggests us. Relying on the writings of scholars who explored inter-Arab relations, such as Muḥammad ʿĀbid al-Jābirī and others, the paper will provide a small but meaningful insight on the controversial issue of neo-Panarabism, with a particular focus on the complex Mashreq/Maghreb interactions, which seem to fall out of the traditional narratives of Arab nationalism.

Beyond the Myth of Inter-Arab Solidarity: Mashreq/Maghreb Interactions in Two Contemporary Jordanian Novels

FERNANDA FISCHIONE
2020

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to give an example of how the relations between the Mashreq and the Maghreb are treated in Levantine contemporary Arabic literature. In order to attain this goal, the paper focuses in particular on two recent novels, both written by Jordanian authors: Bāb al-ḥayra (Confusion Gate, 2006) by Yaḥyà al-Qaysī and Ḥulm al-masāfāt al-baʿīda (Dream of the Great Distances, 2007) by Sulaymān al-Qawābaʿa. Although they have been published almost at the same time, these partially autobiographical novels recall two completely different seasons of Arab history: the first is set in Tunisia in the Nineties and tells the story of a university student, while the second plunges into the Algerian war of independence. These novels tell us much about how inter-Arab solidarity changed in shape and meaning through time: while in the Fifties and Sixties Panarabism was at its peak as a political ideology, as shown by al-Qawābaʿa’s novel, later on it became more a matter of belonging to the same cultural heritage, as al-Qaysī suggests us. Relying on the writings of scholars who explored inter-Arab relations, such as Muḥammad ʿĀbid al-Jābirī and others, the paper will provide a small but meaningful insight on the controversial issue of neo-Panarabism, with a particular focus on the complex Mashreq/Maghreb interactions, which seem to fall out of the traditional narratives of Arab nationalism.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/1651691
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