How Can Arab Writers Forge a Space ‘Beyond National Origins’?

My thoughts are in the comment section.


In the fourth and final part of the series on “the Arabic novel in the West,” Palestinian novelist Raba’i Madhoun asked Palestinian-British writer Selma Dabbagh, author of Out of It, for her views:

Dabbagh argued that writers — and this is perhaps particularly true of the current era — cannot be considered just national writers, as they are influenced by many traditions:

“I believe that geographical and linguistic labels on literature are less relevant than the way that writers, wherever they are or come from, are able to emotionally communicate a story. A Libyan writer may have more in common with an Argentinian writer than another Libyan in terms of style and approach. It would be hard to find a writer who has not read and been influenced by writers beyond their national boundaries.”

While a linguistic tradition and milieu certainly shape writers, Arab authors…

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