Yūsuf Zaydān’s Literary and Ideological Project on Religion and Violence

in La rivista di Arablit, a. XI, n. 21-22, giugno-dicembre 2021, pp. 31-44.

The Egyptian writer Yūsuf Zaydān is part of the tradition – dating from the age of the Nahḍah – of intellectuals as “educators of consciousness”. Since then, faced with a national narrative controlled by political or religious power, Arabic literature has often revisited history with the aim of restoring – through the freedom offered by fictional discourse – the truth overshadowed by official history. Yūsuf Zaydān’s work aims at creating both a new self-awareness and a new perception of the Other within Egyptian society. His project, which is both ideological and literary, revolves around the issue of religious violence in a broad sense. It appears in particular in the historical novels ‘Azāzīl (2009) and al-Nabaṭī (2010), where he tries to show the continuum linking some currents of Christianity to Islam, with the aim of showing that current conflicts are simply the result of political choices.

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This is an Article from La Rivista di Arablit - Anno XI, numeri 21-22, giugno-dicembre 2021

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Marcella Rubino |