Close
You have no items in your shopping cart.
Search
Filters
Self and Other explores the complex dynamic between the individual and the collectivity, narrative and identity that define the short fiction of Yūsuf al-Shārūnī, pioneer of Arab literary modernism. With a range of translated extracts, Kate V.M. Daniels offers English-speaking readers an invaluable introduction to one of Egypt's greatest short story-writers.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0409-9
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jul 24,2014
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 298
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0409-9
$157.00
$94.20

Self and Other is a study of the ground-breaking short fiction of Arab author Yūsuf al-Shārūnī. Writing since the 1940s, al-Shārūnī is little known outside his home country of Egypt. Yet this modest pioneer of Arab literary modernism opened up the short story form some twenty years before Egypt's 'Sixties Generation'. His eclectic and avant-garde oeuvre saw him move from romanticism via realism to modernism, and even, latterly, to test the boundaries of postmodernism. Examining a voice that remains as vital even today, Self and Other offers an invaluable opportunity to explore this author for the first time outside the Arabic-speaking world.


Born in 1924, in the decade when European and American modernists were re-defining the form of the novel, al-Shārūnī's life and fiction chart the re-making of a very different historical and literary landscape. From the cholera epidemic and post-war changes that shaped late 1940s Egypt, through the turbulent years of Nasser and Sadat and ending with more recent references to AIDS and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Daniels teases apart al-Shārūnī's literary re-making of a world in flux. Self and Other explores the complex dynamics between the individual and the collectivity, and the larger questions of the relationship between narrative and identity that define al-Shārūnī's work. It offers insight into one of Egypt's greatest short story-writers and includes translated excerpts from key short fictional texts.



"...a welcome and necessary contribution to the extant scholarly literature on identity that will enhance the small body of work on this subject in Arabic literary studies... Daniels examines al-Shārūnī's explorations of individuality and identity in ways that also evince his honouring of the intimacy between reader and text, reminding us of his hope that in the literary encounter the reader would celebrate and find herself as well as being moved to act." (Dr Christie Johnson, Lecturer in Arabic Literature at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge)

Self and Other is a study of the ground-breaking short fiction of Arab author Yūsuf al-Shārūnī. Writing since the 1940s, al-Shārūnī is little known outside his home country of Egypt. Yet this modest pioneer of Arab literary modernism opened up the short story form some twenty years before Egypt's 'Sixties Generation'. His eclectic and avant-garde oeuvre saw him move from romanticism via realism to modernism, and even, latterly, to test the boundaries of postmodernism. Examining a voice that remains as vital even today, Self and Other offers an invaluable opportunity to explore this author for the first time outside the Arabic-speaking world.


Born in 1924, in the decade when European and American modernists were re-defining the form of the novel, al-Shārūnī's life and fiction chart the re-making of a very different historical and literary landscape. From the cholera epidemic and post-war changes that shaped late 1940s Egypt, through the turbulent years of Nasser and Sadat and ending with more recent references to AIDS and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Daniels teases apart al-Shārūnī's literary re-making of a world in flux. Self and Other explores the complex dynamics between the individual and the collectivity, and the larger questions of the relationship between narrative and identity that define al-Shārūnī's work. It offers insight into one of Egypt's greatest short story-writers and includes translated excerpts from key short fictional texts.



"...a welcome and necessary contribution to the extant scholarly literature on identity that will enhance the small body of work on this subject in Arabic literary studies... Daniels examines al-Shārūnī's explorations of individuality and identity in ways that also evince his honouring of the intimacy between reader and text, reminding us of his hope that in the literary encounter the reader would celebrate and find herself as well as being moved to act." (Dr Christie Johnson, Lecturer in Arabic Literature at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge)

Write your own review
  • Only registered users can write reviews
  • Bad
  • Excellent
Contributor Biography

Kate Daniels

Kate V.M. Daniels lectures in Arabic language, literature and film at the University of Cambridge. She holds an M.A. in Near and Middle East Studies and a Ph.D. from SOAS, University of London. She writes extensively on modern Arabic literature and culture.

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Preface (page 7)
  • Acknowledgements (page 9)
  • Introduction (page 11)
    • Indentity: An Introduction (page 13)
      • A Historical and Theoretical Overview (page 13)
      • Defining Identify, Self, and Other (page 16)
      • The Narrating Self and the Narrative Self (page 20)
    • Author and Genre (page 23)
      • A Brief History of the Modern Arabic Short Story (page 24)
      • The Form and Nature of the Short Story (page 29)
      • Yusuf al-Sharuni and the Arabic Short Story (page 31)
    • Approach and Methodology (page 35)
  • 1 Self and Other Between Past and Present (page 39)
    • The Second World War and Its Aftermath (page 40)
    • "Jasad min Tin," 1946 (page 44)
      • Self and Other: Distance and Desire (page 44)
      • Gender Realities and Sectarian Worldviews (page 46)
    • "Masra Abbas al-Hilu," 1948 (page 52)
      • Self and Other between Tradition and Modernity (page 53)
      • Zuqaq al-Midaqq and “Masra Abbas al-Hilu” (page 55)
    • “Zayta Sani al- Ahat,” 1949 (page 62)
      • Self and Other: Distancing and Exclusion (page 63)
      • Zuqaq al-Midaqq and “Zayta Sani al- Ahat” (page 65)
    • "Sariqa bi'l-Tabiq al-Sadis," 1950 (page 70)
      • Self and Other: Willed Exclusion, Forced Inclusion (page 71)
      • Gendering Anti-Colonial Discourse (page 76)
    • Conclusion (page 79)
  • 2 Self, Other and the Desire for a New Reality (page 81)
    • Egypt in the Pre-Revolutionary Period (page 82)
    • "Al-Qayz," 1950 (page 84)
      • Self and Other: A Split Subjectivity (page 85)
      • The Mirrored Self and the Seeing/Unseeing 'I'/Eye (page 89)
    • "Al-Ushshaq al-Khamsa." 1950 (page 93)
      • Self and Other: Young/Dynamic versus Old/Static (page 95)
      • An Emergent Vision of the New National Community (page 98)
    • "Risala Ila Imra'a," 1951 (page 102)
      • The Self and Its Ideal(ized) Other (page 103)
      • A Feminist Re-interpretation of "Risala ila Imra'a" (page 107)
    • "Al-Hidha," 1951 (page 111)
      • Self as National Subject, Other as State (page 112)
      • A Modernist Vision of Social Disintegration (page 114)
    • Conclusion (page 119)
  • 3 Self and Other in the New Republic (page 123)
    • The Early Years of the New Regime (page 124)
    • "Anisa," 1954 (page 130)
      • The Other and Socialization of the Self (page 131)
      • The Shaping of a Coptic Discourse (page 134)
    • "Ra'san fi'l-Halal," 1955 (page 137)
      • Self and Other as Complementary Whole (page 139)
      • "Religion for God and Nation for All" (page 141)
    • "Al-Nas Maqamat," 1956 (page 146)
      • Self, Other and Enduring Class Realities (page 149)
      • The Dilemmas of the New Middle Class (page 154)
    • "Nashrat al-Akhbar." 1957 (page 156)
      • Self and Other as Civilizational Contestants (page 158)
      • Ordering a Chaotic Narrative World (page 160)
    • Conclusion (page 164)
  • 4 Self and Other beyond the Nation-building Phase (page 167)
    • Autocracy and the End of the Pan-Arab Dream (page 168)
    • "Al-Lahm wa'l-Sikkin," 1961 (page 174)
      • Copts, Muslims and the Fragmented "I" (page 175)
      • Sectarian Tensions in a "Christian" Narrative (page 177)
    • "Al-Ziham," 1963 (page 186)
      • The National Collectivity Becomes Other (page 186)
      • The Predominance of the Psychological Idiom (page 190)
    • "Nazariyya Fi'l-Jilda al-Fasida," 1966 (page 195)
      • An "In-Between" Self in Acquiescence to its Other (page 199)
      • Strategies of Self-Censorship and Concealment (page 201)
    • "Lamahat min Hayat Mawjud Abd al-Mawjud," 1969 (page 206)
      • Self as Fear, Fear as Other (page 209)
      • Enigma and Ambiguity, Contrast and Contradiction (page 210)
    • Conclusion (page 217)
  • 5 Self and Other in a Fragmenting Society (page 219)
    • The Eras of Sadat and Mubarak (page 221)
    • Al-Umm wal-Wahsh," 1970 (page 226)
      • A Newly Heroic Self (page 227)
      • Tales, Myths and Legends as Anti-Colonial Discourse (page 229)
    • “Shakwa al-Muwazzaf al-Fasih,” 1976–77 (page 236)
      • Self as Individual, Other as Collectivity (page 239)
      • Form and Content in a Text of Social Protest (page 242)
    • “I tirafat Dayyiq al-Khulq wa’l-Mathana,” 1981 (page 249)
      • A Self Resisting the Symbolic Order/Other (page 252)
      • The Significance of a Confessional Discourse (page 256)
    • “Al-Waqa’i al-Ghariba li-Infisal Ra’s Mim,” 1993 (page 259)
      • Fragmented Body, Fragmented Self (page 260)
      • Embodying Power Relations in Egypt (page 261)
    • Conclusion (page 269)
  • Conclusion (page 271)
    • Summing Up Perceptions of Self and Other (page 271)
    • Evolving Worldviews and Ideologies (page 274)
    • Al-Sharuni and the Modern Arabic Short Story (page 276)
  • Bibliography (page 279)
  • Index (page 293)