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  • Samira Aghacy (a1)

This study focuses on the nature of the Lebanese encounter with modernity in Lebanese fiction over the past forty years or so, a time of great ideological, political, and cultural upheavals. The first part traces the effect of modernity on works by Lebanese writers since the 1950s, a period of “revolutionary political and social change,” and of learning and cultural and social ferment. The second part of the study focuses on Rashid al-Daif's novel עAzizi al-Sayyed Kawabata. My choice of this particular novel is related to the fact that it is a representative work that underlines the impact of modernity on Lebanese individuals and society during and in the wake of the civil war. The novel raises questions about rationality, ideology, the individual self, and the relevance of these Western constructs to the local situation in Lebanon. The structure of the novel itself and the use of the epistolary and autobiographical modes of writing underscore the novel's obsession with modernity. Within this context, one could say that al-Daif's novel can be viewed as a complex work of fiction that encompasses different forms of modernity, the tensions between these modernities, and between modernity and authenticity.

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International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
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