“al-Zuhūr” (Les Fleurs, 1910-1913) et la littérature occidentale

in La rivista di Arablit, a. XIII, n. 25, giugno 2023, pp. 7-20.

As is well known, two phenomena have played a fundamental role in the evolution of the Arab world during al-Nahḍah al-Ḥadīṯah: the press and the translation movement. Many works were translated/adapted/summarised for the Arab audience, with the aim to inform and educate them about how to build a new modern society. This essay focuses on “al-Zuhūr” (The Flowers, 1910-1913, Cairo), the magazine founded by Anṭūn Ǧamīl al-Ǧumayyil (1884-1948), and on its editorial staff’s choice to introduce a good number of examples from Western literature to the Arab readership. According to the intentions announced in the first issue, the magazine, whose editorial staff boasted major intellectuals, mostly from Greater Syria and Egypt, would not deal with politics. The aim of this paper is to highlight, by means of few examples, to what extent the translation/adaptation/summary and even the mere selection of a literary text, instead of another, was a politically relevant task in the magazine’s history.

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Paola Viviani | Assistant Professor in Arabic Language and Literature at Seconda Università di Napoli, Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche “Jean Monnet”.