"Besotted with the Bright Lights of Imperialism":? Arab Subjectivity Constructed Against New York's Many Faces

in Journal of Arabic Literature
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Abstract

This article reads symbolism and imagery related to New York City in Yūsuf Idrīs's New York 80, Adūnīs's Qabr min ajl New York, and Radwā 'Āshūr's Al-Rihla, to advance two interrelated arguments about the formulation of a positive, modern Arab subjectivity. Firstly, though all of the texts criticize the United States and set up an opposition between the Arab self and the US other, none of the texts merely inscribes a simplistic self-other dichotomy. Analyzing this allows a more complex notion of Arab subjectivity to emerge. Secondly, gendered symbolism and imagery are manipulated in these texts and thus gender analyses are crucial to exploring the articulations of Arab subjectivity in these works.

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