Revolutionary Pioneer: <sup>c</sup>Abd al-Malik Nūrī in Six Stories

Fabio Caiani and Catherine Cobham

in The Iraqi Novel

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2013 | ISBN: 9780748641413
Published online May 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780748695225 | DOI:

Series: Edinburgh Studies in Modern Arabic Literature EUP

Revolutionary Pioneer: cAbd al-Malik Nūrī in Six Stories

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This chapter presents a detailed discussion of six short stories by ‘Abd al-Malik Nuri, the revolutionary artist who, due to his slender body of work and reclusive nature, has been largely neglected by critics. Nuri, who was himself initially influenced by the pioneering socialist-realist writer Ayyub, as well as by the older Arabic literary tradition, was then more significantly affected by his reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses in the late 1940s. Nuri is credited with introducing the use of stream of consciousness and interior monologue into Arabic fiction as a whole in the late 1940s. Nuri’s stories are discussed in the context of the febrile cultural scene in Baghdad in the 1950s, which writers look back to as a golden period, when they consciously sought inspiration from foreign literature. The chapter sheds light on the interaction between Iraqi writers and other artists in informal gatherings in cafés from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s, as well as the more formal exchanges in the literary journals of the time.

Keywords: Nuri; Iraqi short story; stream of consciousness; interior monologue; 1950s; Baghdad; café society; Joyce

Chapter.  17748 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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