Pacifist Invasions

Arabic, Translation & the Postfrancophone Lyric

Yasser Elhariry

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ISBN: 9781786940407

Publication: October 31, 2017

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 48

Pacifist Invasions: Arabic, Translation, and the Postfrancophone Lyric is about what happens to the contemporary French lyric in the translingual Arabic context. Drawing on lyric theory, comparative poetics, and linguistics, it demonstrates how Arabic literature and Islamic scripture pacifically invade French in poetry by Habib Tengour (Algeria), Edmond Jabès (Egypt), Salah Stétié (Lebanon), Abdelwahab Meddeb (Tunisia), and Ryoko Sekiguchi (Japan). Pacifist Invasions deploys comparative side-by-side close readings of classical Arabic literature, Islamic scripture, and the Arabic commentary traditions in the original language, against the landscape of contemporary Francophone literature, poetry, and poetics. Detailed close readings reveal three generic modes of translating Arabic poetics into French lyric. The book analyzes how poets writing in French pacifically invade the language by engaging in a translational and intertextual relationship with the history and world of Arabic literature.

Pacifist Invasions reveals the central importance of translational and intertextual poetics after colonialism, as they pacifically invade and denature the monolingual fabric of French. It recasts the field of Francophone Studies to account for transversal and transhistorical transmissions of literary forms and languages in Arabic, and offers fresh insight into the question of writing in the colonizer’s language. The study shifts the focus to the context of Arabic and Islamic literary cultures, demonstrating how they pacifically invade French from within, rather than writing back from the margins of empire. Through close readings of poetry, translations, commentaries, chapbooks, art books, and essays, Pacifist Invasions proposes a rereading of Francophone literature in relation to the translations and transmissions of classical Arabic poetics, offering a translingual, comparative repositioning of the field of Francophone postcolonial studies along a fluid, translational Franco-Arabic axis.

Yasser Elhariry is currently Assistant Professor of French at Dartmouth College. He recently received the 53rd Annual William Riley Parker Prize, awarded by the Modern Language Association for an outstanding article in PMLA.

Dedication Acknowledgements Note on Translations Preface: Ends of French Introduction: Word Over Word Part One // Odists Chapter 1. Translating Translating Tengour Chapter 2. Sky-Birds & Dead Trees: On Two Images in Edmond Jabès Part Two // Sufis Chapter 3. Wine Song: Salah Stétié & ʿOmar ibn al-Fāriḍ Chapter 4. Sufis in Mecca: Abdelwahab Meddeb, Ibn ʿArabī & the New Lyric Part Three // Andalusians Chapter 5. Heliotropic Exit: Ryoko Sekiguchi’s Muwashsha Conclusion: Postfrancophone Bibliography

"Pacifist Invasions will be of major importance to scholars of postcolonial francophone literature and intervenes in important ways in ongoing debates on world literature."
Olivia Harrison, University of Southern California

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

288 Pages

ISBN: 9781786940407

Publication: October 31, 2017

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 48

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