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Khammash, Salma (1971) A study of social problems in Egypt as depicted by Egyptian novelists from 1919-1960. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The thesis is a study of the social problems in Egypt between 1919 and 1960 emphasising the distribution of wealth, corruption, the position of women, and the prevalence of ignorance. The ways in which and the extent to which Egyptian novelists treated these problems are described, analysed and examined. The novel in Egypt has shown fairly continuous development in technique during the forty years covered by the present work and has established itself as a recognized form of Adab. It is characterised by a kind of 'localised realism'. While most of the novelists, whose works form the basis of this study, could be considered as social novelists, in the sense that they depict Egyptian society, very few of them have dealt with the problems at all fundamentally. Big segments of society with their associated problems, such as the workers, soldiers, children, students, servants, the unemployed etc., are surprisingly and unjustifiably missing from the strata portrayed by the novelists. It is notable that with perhaps one or two exceptions, no social problem has been taken as the central theme of a novel. In fact, social problems, even the most serious and urgent ones, such as poverty, ignorance and disease, have in most instances been mentioned throughout the novel as part of the general atmosphere or 'local environment'. The acute and chronic suffering of the masses has rarely been exposed. In relation to the magnitude of the social problems and to the speed of development throughout the world in modem times, the social novelist in Egypt still shows a lack of deep concern, of real insight, of radical understanding, and appears to be without philosophy or vision. His message is often unimposing and is rarely given explicitly, It has very frequently boon too late and has almost never had the effect of rousing the public conscience.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:08

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