The flux of a mystical-surrealist trend through the Middle East and North Africa

in La rivista di Arablit, a. VII, n. 14, dicembre 2017, pp. 63-76.

Since the end of the 1930s, surrealism has spread its principles throughout the Arab world. In each place, it has never remained isolated and completely anchored to its original historical dimension, but the association and interaction with the local forms of literary, cultural and even religious expression have transformed it. One of these forms is the Islamic mysticism, i.e. sufism, and it is surprising that the association with surrealism took place even in contexts that were not related to each other.
Critics have already detected the connection of surrealism with mysticism in the French context. This contribution aims to give an overview of the critical writings that display a similar attitude in drawing together surrealism and mysticism with reference to the Middle East and North Africa. It will try to present the different perspectives on the phenomenon and to offer some methodological guidelines for the study of a specific literary case.

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Arturo Monaco | Dottore di ricerca in Civiltà, Culture e Società dell’Asia e dell’Africa, presso il Dipartimento Istituto Italiano di Studi Orientali – ISO, Sapienza Università di Roma.