Exploring the ways in which writers utilize the spaces of the city - joining the factual with the imaginary - this book shows how idiosyncratic perceptions of Beirut are produced, generating an infinite number of Beiruts.
The city emerges as interactive, dynamic and historical, a place that is created from the streets, buildings, and monuments as well as through performance and social interaction. By referring to factual places in Beirut, the novels produce a strong reality effect through a mimetic mode of expression. Simultaneously, these texts reveal that Beirut is an unstable locale that resists fixity and transparency, shifting between the real and imagined, and the quotidian and discursive.
Writing Beirut explores the city in 16 Arabic novels focusing on the urban/rural divide, the imagined and idealized city, the city through panoramic views and pedestrian acts, the city as sexualized and gendered, and the city as a palimpsest. While the book focuses on Beirut in Arabic novels, the introduction provides a thorough overview of Beirut in the modern Arabic novel.
About the series: Edinburgh Studies in Modern Arabic Literature, dedicated to the study of modern Arabic literature, is unique and unprecedented. It includes contemporary genre studies, single-author studies, studies of particular movements, trends, groupings, themes and periods in Modern Arabic Literature, as well as country/region-based studies.
Edinburgh University Press
Mappings of the City in the Modern Arabic Novel
Edinburgh Studies in Modern Arabic Literature
Education & Reference