A survey of Hijazi prose literature in the period 1908-1941, with some reference to the history of the press.
This thesis presents an account of Hejazi
prose literature in the period 1908-1941 by tracing
its main evolutionary trends, namely the gradual
rejection of inherited conventional ideas and literary
forms in favour of modern and ‘Western' concepts and
genres. Since contemporary political events in Hejaz
affect the development of its literature, each of the
three parts of this study is prefaced by a brief
survey of the political conditions which influenced
the character of the Hejazi literature of that period.
In Part One (The pre-Hashemite period,
1908-1916), Chapter I examines, by the method of
textual analysis employed throughout the thesis, the
traditional prose of Hejaz, which was out of step with
modern conditions, and the newly introduced essay, a
form which represents a departure from convention.
Chapter II deals with the origins of the Hejazi press
which was instrumental in bringing about literary
Part Two treats of the Hashemite era (1916-
1925). Chapter I discusses the part played in literature
by the Hashemite press; Chapter II analyses the development
of the essay from its rudimentary beginnings into a fully-fledged
literary form which eventually came
to dominate the literary scene. It also refers to
the formation of a new radical literary movement of
the younger Hejazi writers.
Part Three of this thesis deals with the
early Saudi period (1925-1941) when Hejazi prose
literature matured both in form and in content.
Chapter I describes the importance of the Saudi press
both as a stimulus and a medium of literary output;
Chapter II traces the role of the younger Hejazi writers
and studies the further progress of the essay, stressing
its predominantly critical character. Chapter III
discusses the beginnings of prose fiction in the Hejaz,
with the novel, as represented by the roman de theme,
still in the experimental stage; and with some notable
achievements in the field of the short story and drama.