The modern Arabic historical novel.
In order to present as complete as possible, a
picture of the evolution of the modern Arabic historical
novel in relation to political and cultural trends of Arab
life, this study has been divided into three parts, each
corresponding to a stage of development.
The introduction defines the Arabic historical
novel, retracing its roots to popular Arabic historical
romances and Western models.
In part one (The Emergence of the Arabic Historical
Novel 1870-1914) chapter*one deals with contemporary political
trends and the effect of the special position of the
Christian Syrians on their choice of period and treatment
of history, presenting Salim al-Bustan'i as the precursor of
the genre. Chapter two treats of Jurji Zaidan as the founder
of the genre, the influ4nees to which he was subjected and
his literary views. Chapter three examines his influence o-n
other historical novelists within the wider context of public
taste. Chapter four discusses provincialism in the historical
novel with special reference to the works of Ahmad Shawqi.
In part two (Period of Decline 1914-1938), chapter
one dissects the causes of the decline of the genre. Chapter
two shows the influence of nationalism on the treatment of
the historical theme and the conflict between commercialism
and the artistic trend, while chapter three presents Niqula
al-Vaddad, Abu Vad'id's "Ibnat al-Mamlýiklls Ibrahhim RamzT
and Alýmad Khairl Salid as the exponents of the main tendencies.
Part three (Revival 1939-1963)2 chapter one examines
the socio-political factors of the revival of the genre, the
causes of its impermanence, and the amalgamation of nationalism
and humanism in the treatment of national history.
Chapter two deals with three technical trends in the historical
novel of this period, the "antiquarians", the "stylists"
and the "analysts". Chapter three treats of Abu Hadid Ba
Kathir and NajiIb Mahfuz; as the representative "analysts".