Addresses the literary representation and cultural interpretation
of the city in Arabic literatureThe theme and motif of the city has
had an enduring presence in the Arabic-Islamic tradition, from the
classical and post-classical literary corpus to modern and
post-colonial Arabic poetry and prose. Cities such as Mecca,
Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, Beirut, Qayrawan, Marrakesh and Cordoba
have served as virtual (battle)grounds for some of the Arab world's
most complex intellectual, sociocultural, and political issues. The
Arab city has been transformed from a mere physical structure and
textual space into an (auto)biographical, novelistic, and poetic
arena often troubled and contested for debating the encounter,
competition and conflict between the rural and the urban, the
traditional and the modern, the meditative and the satiric, the
individual and the communal, and the Self and Other(s).Key
FeaturesShows how the city has been explored in works of literature
by classical and modern 'Arab' authors from different theosophical
and ideological backgroundsViews the entirety of the tradition as
an evolving continuum, making the collection relevant to scholars
of both classical and modern Arabic literatureCovers the central
literary genres from the classical period associated with the city,
including elegy, eulogy, invective, nostalgic discourses and
historiographical accountsChapters on the modern period focus on
ideas such as the role played by writing the city in the Moroccan
nahdah, everyday writing practices in Beirut and the contradictions
and tensions in current literary depictions of the globalized
cities of MENAIncludes chapters on many of the most important
cities from the medieval and the modern Arab world in Iraq, Syria,
Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and al-Andalus
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