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Daniels, Kate Victoria McDonald (2001) Perceptions of the self and the other in the short stories of Yusuf al-Sharuni. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis examines the relationship between identity and narrative. More specifically, it explores how the self and the other are perceived and represented in the short stories of the Egyptian writer Yusuf al-Sharuni (b. 1924). Over five chapters, it traces how these perceptions develop, through a chronological study of al-Sharuni's texts. The thesis is structured accordingly: its introduction begins with a historical and theoretical overview of the discourse of identity; it then shifts to the domain of literary theory, where it explores the concepts of narrative identity and the narrative self; it then moves to a discussion of al- Sharuni and his genre, considering the origins, form and nature of the modem Arabic short story and providing biographical data on the author. The introduction concludes with a discussion of the thesis' theoretical and methodological approaches. Each chapter is placed within a specific time frame and its historical/political context, being; (1) the Second World War and its aftermath; (2) the pre-revolutionary period; (3) the early years of the new regime; (4) Nasser's rule and the shift towards autocracy; and (5) the eras of Sadat and Mubarak. Further, each chapter explores common concepts: the narrative identities of the self and other; key characters and themes; and the relationship between the individual and the collectively. The overall analysis supports the following hypothesis: that al-Sharuni's short stories demonstrate an evolutionary view of reality, represented by a dynamic, evolving narrative self and other; and that his texts are underpinned by an evolving ideological discourse, informed by the socio-political context of their production. The thesis also considers al- Sharuni's contribution to the Arabic short story. In particular, it reveals how many of his key moods and trends predate those of his successors by more than twenty years, making him an early pioneer of modernist Arabic narrative.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:02

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