Chapter

Introduction Post-War Anglophone Lebanese Fiction: Roots and Routes

Syrine Hout

in Post-War Anglophone Lebanese Fiction

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780748643424
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676569 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748643424.003.0001
Introduction Post-War Anglophone Lebanese Fiction: Roots and Routes

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The introductory chapter is divided into two sections: the first one, focusing on roots, is a review of Arabic-language Lebanese war literature of the 1970s and 1980s, its main authors, and trends, with some references to Francophone Lebanese literature; the second one, focusing on routes, is an overview of post-war Anglophone literature as a phenomenon of the last fourteen years. It explains why and how, emerging a few years after peace had been achieved in Lebanon in 1990, these narratives display a newer version of ‘survivor memory’, as defined by Marianne Hirsch, in the form of a generation-specific consciousness, one alternatively replete with irony, parody, nostalgia, and critiques of self and nation. It focuses on the cross-cultural aspect of these texts in two ways: on these authors' views on writing in a foreign language; and on several critics' observations on the increased diversification of Lebanese literature. Drawing on theories of transnational literatures, it argues that these novels characterise a new literary and cultural phenomenon, and have founded what is predicted to become a fuller-fledged branch of Lebanese diasporic literature. By questioning home from a spatial and a temporal distance, these texts offer different visions of ‘Lebaneseness’ in the twenty-first century.

Keywords: Lebanese war literature; post-war Lebanese literature; Arabophone Lebanese literature; Francophone Lebanese literature; Anglophone Lebanese literature; transnational literature; diasporic literature; survivor memory

Chapter.  6646 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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