Nationalist Poetry, Conflict and Meta-linguistic Discourse<sup>*</sup>

Yasir Suleiman

in Living Islamic History

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780748637386
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653218 | DOI:
Nationalist Poetry, Conflict and Meta-linguistic Discourse*

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This chapter discusses the role of poetry in identity formation and nation building in the Arab-speaking world. Western theories of nationalism treat the novel as the locus of national narratives. The chapter argues that this view is Western-centric and that, in the Arab context, poetry plays that role more than the novel. It further discusses some Arabic poetry, and the Arab diaspora, mahjar, in which poetry, as a meta-linguistic discourse reflects on the role of language as a primary marker of Arab identity and emphasises its role in superseding ethnic tensions in the Arab body politic.

Keywords: role of poetry; identity formation; nation building; Arabic poetry; Arab diaspora; mahjar; Arab identity; Arab body politic

Chapter.  12232 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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