Iraqi fiction and the (re)emergence of ethno-religious identities: Muḥsin al-Ramlī’s strategies in Tamr al-aṣābiʿ and Ḥadāʾiq al-raʾīs

in La rivista di Arablit, a. XIII, n. 26, dicembre 2023, pp. 123-140.

In his essay on pluralism and Iraqi fiction, Ronen Zeidel included Muḥsin al-Ramlī in a group of Iraqi authors who started writing fiction to counter the discourse associating the Sunni identity with the Baath. Yet this scholar only devoted a few pages to the author’s literature, taking a quantitative approach to his texts that did not consider the multiple effects of refraction (or retranslation) potentially affecting them in the literary field. This article thus examines Zeidel’s argument and al-Ramlī’s strategies with respect to ethno-religious identities, drawing on field theory as developed by literary scholars and sociologists such as Pierre Bourdieu and Pascale Casanova. The article looks at the writer’s trajectory as well as the symbolic capital he acquired inside and outside the Iraqi field, focusing in particular on two of his most renowned novels, Tamr al-aṣābiʿ and Ḥadāʾiq al-raʾīs, in the light of Fanar Haddad’s theoretical insights on sectarianism.

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This is an Article from La Rivista di Arablit - Anno XIII, numero 26, dicembre 2023

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Antonio Pacifico |