The Reversal of the Reasonable in a Smart Social Outcast: Ḫalīfa ‘The Scabby’ by al-Bašīr Ḫurayyif

In: Quaderni di Studi Arabi
Andrea Facchin Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

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Can healing cause social exclusion? By contrast, can illness signify belonging to a group, in addition to serenity? Throughout the analysis of the short story “Ḫalīfa al-aqraʿ” (1960) by the famous Tunisian author al-Bašīr Ḫurayyif (1917–1983), this study will unravel how its main character – a smart social outcast – performs his boundaries. Specifically, the paper will discuss how Ḫalīfa ‘the scabby’ experiences his illness, by overturning the logic of its boundaries and social inclusion, where illness is lived and interpreted differently, in apparent self-contradiction, and is employed to shape the protagonist’s marginalized role in a group.

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