(The Great War of Mīḫāʾīl Nuʿaymah)
in La rivista di Arablit, a. IX, n. 17-18, dicembre 2019, pp. 9-24.
Basing ourselves on the second volume of Mīḫāʾīl Nuʿaymah’s autobiography Sabʿūn, we analyse his reflections, notes and memories relating to the Great War and especially to his participation in a military campaign in France. The absurdity of a war in which he feels unjustly involved leads him to look even at the enemy through a feeling of human brotherhood. From our analysis of Muḏakkirāt al-Arqaš, conceived in 1918 under the stimulus of news coming from the war front, the similarity between Nuʿaymah’s thought and that of the “disfigured by smallpox” becomes evident. In our contribution, we take into consideration also Nuʿaymah’s poem Aḫī – cited in his autobiography and composed before leaving for the front – in which the poet prophesies that, at the end of the conflict, the Arabs – with whom he fraternizes in a definitely more visceral sense of brotherhood – would have just nothing to celebrate.
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