The Memory of the Great War in a Selection of Writings by Mārūn ʿAbbūd
in La rivista di Arablit, a. IX, n. 17-18, dicembre 2019, pp. 81-96.
The consequences of the First World War left a lasting mark on the life of many writers. The Lebanese critic, journalist, poet, and writer of fiction Mārūn ‘Abbūd (1886-1962) is one of them. During the conflict, extreme poverty and starvation forced him to abandon his work and move to a village on Mount Lebanon eking an existence for his family. Only after the end of the war did he return to writing. From that time on, references to the Great War and its aftermath started to appear in his writings. The aim of this paper is to document these references in Mārūn ‘Abbūd’s literary writing, chiefly through a selection of short stories from the collection Wuǧūh wa ḥikāyāt (Faces and Stories, 1945). As it will emerge from the analysis, however brief and rare, these writings bear witness to the enormous pain that remembering the event caused the author. They also belong to the number of voices that shed light on the dramatic changes that the Great War and its aftermath brought about in Lebanese society.