Feminism and Avant-Garde Aesthetics in the Levantine Novel by Kifah Hanna (auth.)

By Kifah Hanna (auth.)

Writing according to warfare and nationwide difficulty, al-Samm?n, Khal?feh, Barak?t, and others brought into the Arabic literary canon aesthetic kinds in a position to wearing Levantine women's stories. by way of assessing their feminism in this kind of method, this publication goals to restore a serious emphasis on aesthetics in Arab women's writing.

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20 Figures such as Wardah al-Yāzijī (1838–1924), ʿĀʾisha al-Taymūriyyah (1840–1902), Mariyānā Marrāsh (1848–1919), Zaynab Fawwāz (c. 1850–1914), Hind Nawfal (1860–1920), Alexandra Khūrī Avierino (1872–1926), and Malak ĵifnī Nāsif (also known as BāĶithat al-Bādiyah; 1886–1918) set the scene for the rise of feminist activism at the turn of the twentieth century. These pioneers placed gender equality 20 ● Feminism and Avant-Garde Aesthetics in the Levantine Novel at the core of their feminist discourse.

This is because the strictly chronological approach, despite its explanatory power, suggests a linear, progressive historical trajectory in Arab feminism, and thus fails to encompass both the synchronicity and the overlapping textual strategies of its literatures. Moreover, it underestimates the recurrent challenges faced by women writers (as women, artists, and citizens of nations undergoing political turmoil) across different literary periods. 1 To rectify such methodological problems, I thus investigate the history of Arab feminist literature within a geographical and aesthetic, rather than a chronological, framework.

The Feminist Avant-Garde Although Shafīq, al-Idlibī, and ‘Azzām conceived of feminism and nationalism as inextricably bound issues as early as the mid-century, it was not The Vicious Cycle ● 29 until the late 1960s that this linkage really crystallized as pervasive in Mashriqi feminist writing. Like the Nakba , or “Catastrophe” that befell the Palestinians in 1948, the Naksa , or “Setback” of 1967, when Israel defeated the Arab armies and occupied the West Bank, Gaza, Golan, and Sinai, awakened an intense national consciousness and deepened the sense of regional solidarity among Arab writers.

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