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تجليات أسطورية للصحراء الأفريقية الكبرى في الرواية العربية / Mythic Manifestations of the Sahara in the Arabic Novel

صلاح صالح and Salah Salih
Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics
No. 17, Literature and Anthropology in Africa / الأدب والأنثروبولوجيا في أفريقيا‎‎ (1997), pp. 6-27
DOI: 10.2307/521619
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/521619
Page Count: 22
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تجليات أسطورية للصحراء الأفريقية الكبرى في الرواية العربية / Mythic Manifestations of the Sahara in the Arabic Novel
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Abstract

The Arabic novel has dealt with the Sahara in various ways: contextualizing the plot and characters within it, basing an episode on it, or using it simply to provide an aesthetic function. Furthermore, the inclusion of the Sahara in the Arabic novel has not been a matter of content only; it has affected the horizon of the work and enriched its dynamics. Despite the realism of the Arabic novels which dealt with the Sahara, most of them present the desert environment- topographical, botanical, zoological and cultural-in a fantastic light and present characters living in the Sahara and their dress, behavior, traditions and rites as strange and exotic. While the Sahara has given rise to the mythic motif within the realistic depiction, the variety of ethnic groups inhabiting the Sahara on its north and south, east and west, as well as the penetration of both Islam and Christianity into the Saharan cultures prevented the presentation of a common mythology. The works examined are by nine writers from African Arab countries: Ibrahim al-Kuni (Libya), Gamal al-Ghitany and Sabri Moussa (Egypt), Tayeb Salih, Makki Muhammad 'Ali and 'Umar al-Hamidi (Sudan), 'Abd al-Hamid Haduqa (Algeria), Mahmud al-Mas'idi (Tunisia), and Ahmad Wuld 'Ab al-Qadir (Mauritania).

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