The Dark Renaissance of the War Poetry: A Comparative Analysis between the Poetry of the Two World Wars (Published)
Wars have no memory, and nobody has the courage to understand them until there are no voices left to tell what happened,” –Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind.The literature of war is a literature of paradoxes, the greatest of which is the fact that it comments continuously on its own failure. War writers often lament their incapacity to describe the realities of armed combat, the inexpressible nature of the subject matter, the inadequacy of language, and the inability of their audiences to understand. Tim O’Brien writes of the war he experienced in Vietnam: “There is no clarity. Everything swirls. The old rules are no longer binding, the old truths no longer true. Right spills over into wrong. Order blends into chaos, love into hate, ugliness into beauty, law into anarchy, civility into savagery. The vapors suck you in. You can’t tell where you are, or why you’re there, and the only certainty is overwhelming ambiguity.” From ancient Nordic ballads to Masai folk songs or Red Indian sagas, war has always been a predominate theme in literature. Zafon in The Shadow of the Wind portrays a war ravaged Barcelona and comments, “There’s something about that period that’s epic and tragic” for like the Old English Elegiac poetries, the Arthurian Romances, Gorky’s Mother or Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the literature of the Great Wars have altered human perception and the very fabrics of literature. However, we witness a distinct line between the literature of both world wars. The Second Great War threatened the humankind like never before. It was a manmade crisis which threw us to the brink of extinction, and thus displaying the futility of human existence. As humanity experienced the terror of the ‘absurdity’ of reality, the philosophy if ‘nothing to be done’ surfaced in their consciousness. This paper aims to evaluate the marked change in the form of poetry written in the two Great Wars and how far the Second World War was responsible for the advent of Modernism.
The Survival of Romanticism in Modern Arabic Poetry with a Special Reference to Farouk Shoosha (Published)
Due to contacts with the Western cultural milieu, new concepts and ideas were adopted by many European-educated Arabic poets who had been given a chance to read and translate English and French verse. The result was new generations who, influenced by the Western modernism, revolted against their accustomed literary traditions. Being influenced by the Western modernism implies an influence by its “Neo-romanticism”. It is ‘new romanticism’ because it represents a revival of the European romantic spirit which had informed the work of the Apollo Group in the 1930s. From Eliot, the Arabic poets took the theme of the ‘city’ (the ‘unreal city’) and from other modernists a variety of themes that this paper finds a continuation of the English Romantic movement. This paper tries to prove this in a number of poetic images in modern Arabic poetry with a special reference to poetry of Farouk Shoosha.
Fictional characters in general, and the way they are built in a novel, have always been central to the genre production and appreciation. Writers exert strenuous efforts in creating their characters; and critics and readers often look into the artistic features in a literary character. During modernity and post-modernity, ‘outsider’ characters, in particular, have received special attention. Arab novelist Ghalib Halasa was one of the writers who forged a brilliant portrayal of loner characters, especially women. Unlike their marginal status in the society, Halasa’s female characters are influential– an audacious dimension that is worthy of discussion. This study seeks to identify the loner characters, particularly females, in Ghalib Halasa’s novels, taking The Question as an example. Specifically, the study will try to provide answers to three questions:
1. What are the most important levels through which loner characters were depicted?
2. Were loner characters a product of the society?
3. Why was Halasa keen to target female outsider characters, in particular?