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Risky Business: Of Dogs and Ethics in a Story by Yayā aqqī

In: Journal of Arabic Literature
Author:
Joseph E. LowryUniversity of Pennsylvania

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Abstract

Yahyā Haqqī’s short story “Antar and Juliet” depicts a tragic encounter between two characters from different social worlds. Although the story could be read as a depiction of the stark reality of class difference, this article explores the characters’ varying degrees of willingness to expose themselves to risk. Using ideas about tragedy and ethics developed by Martha Nussbaum, it is argued that the story portrays the good life as one constituted by ties to others, but also as one that, because of its openness to the world, brings with it the very real possibility of disaster.

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