<b>Where have all the families gone?</b> Egyptian literary texts of the 1990s

Samia Mehrez

in Egypt's Culture Wars

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9789774163746
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970399 | DOI:
Where have all the families gone? Egyptian literary texts of the 1990s

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This chapter examines the representation of the Egyptian family in the avant-garde literary works of the 1990s in contrast to that which permeated earlier literary texts since the mid twentieth century. It argues that many literary works of the 1990s announce the death of the family as a literary icon that represents the Egyptian national imaginary. These avant-garde literary representations of the family seem to question and contest an official national imaginary that makes the family the central national icon. Whereas dominant cultural representations continue to reinforce traditional values of the family and moralize its reality, even when critical of the economic and social conditions that surround it, the avant-garde literary imaginary of the 1990s is accused of “immorality”, if not nihilism, in its attempts to unsettle the very same icon.

Keywords: 1990s Egyptian texts; immorality; avant-garde; nihilism

Chapter.  10762 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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