Una prospettiva insolita sull’incontro arabo con l’Occidente: al-ʻIṭr al-faransī di Amīr Tāǧ al-Sir

(An unusual perspective on the Arab encounter with the West: al-ʻIṭr al-faransī by Amīr Tāǧ al-Sir)

in La rivista di Arablit, a. VII, n. 14, dicembre 2017, pp. 77-92.

Amīr Tāǧ al-Sir’s al-ʻIṭr al-faransī (The French Perfume, 2009) is an interesting subversion of the theme of the Arab encounter with the West. In this novel, the news of the forthcoming arrival of a French international project worker, Katia Cadolet, disrupts the relatively quiet and monotonous life in Ḥayy Ġāʼib, a poor peripheral district of an unspecified Arab African city.
By reading this unusual representation of the theme against the canon of the “civilizational novel” in its recent and less recent developments, this article aims at exploring the status of this complex relationship, unstable and uneasy at once, and questions the main paradigms used for understanding it. al-ʻIṭr al-faransī does not merely deal with this theme from the opposite perspective, it also contests the very possibility of encounter with the West and its representation, by staging it through the lenses of irony and parody.

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This is an Article from La Rivista di Arablit - Anno VII, numero 14, dicembre 2017

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Alessandro Buontempo |