Narrative and the Reading Public in 1870s Beirut

in Journal of Arabic Literature
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



This paper reads narrative published in the journals of 1870s Beirut in the context of an emerging bourgeois readership and argues that the significance of this archive to modern Arabic fiction has been neglected by critics. Taking the intensification of the silk trade with France following the civil war of 1860 as a point of historical departure, this paper traces the nexus of multiple influences upon narrative forms published in the burgeoning press of this period. Reading two serialized novels of 1870 alongside one another, this paper reveals the centrality of suspense to the proliferation of the press and the novel form. Anticipation, anxiety and hope pervade the pages of these periodicals as readers and writers negotiate changing notions of class and gender. The final portion of the paper returns to the question of influence, exposing the overdetermined narrative weave that connects these early serialized Arabic novels to not only the European novel, but also the heritage of popular Arabic storytelling epitomized by A Thousand and One Nights.

Narrative and the Reading Public in 1870s Beirut

in Journal of Arabic Literature


Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 12 12 9
Full Text Views 10 10 9
PDF Downloads 3 3 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0