A Brief Introduction to Modern Arabic Literature
This survey of recent Arabic literature starts with such modern pioneers as Taha Hussein and “the greatest of all Arab novelists,” Naguib Mahfouz. In Tresilian’s chronological catalog of writers, works and ideas, he discusses the adaptation of the European novel form; the Arabic interpretation of modern poetry; the unique Palestinian writing community; and the contemporary scene. Tresilian introduces his audience to some of the issues afoot in reading Arab literature: the tension between traditional forms and the so-called liberal and innovative, and the variance between the state-embraced and the oppositional. He confines his focus to books written after 1945, emphasizes prose over poetry, is concerned primarily with the eastern Arab world rather than the western, and includes only works originally written in Arabic and available in translation. His Brief Introduction will probably find the happiest home among students of comparative literature.