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Title: Inter-textual nation : novel imaginings of Palestinian community in the works of Ibrāhīm Naṣrallāh
Author: Parr, Nora E. H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 9926
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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The novel, it is said, represents a 'precise analogue' of the imagined national community (Anderson). This national community is imagined as 'inherently limited and sovereign'. The Palestinian novel, however, tells the story of a national community that is neither limited nor sovereign. This study examines the literary mechanisms employed by Palestinian novelists to imagine a national community within and beyond the nation-state. It argues that the totality of a dispersed, discontiguous, and multi-sited Palestinian community with experiences that surpass dominant structures of history and geography is at the heart of the innovative impulse in the Palestinian novel. It focuses on nine novels by Ibrāhīm Naṣrallāh (b.1954, Wiḥdāt camp, Amman) from two series: al-Malhāt al-filasṭīnīyya (The Palestine Comedies), and the Shurafāt (Balconies). This body of work develops a model of Palestinian national belonging coined here as inter-textual. Drawn from Genette, Kristeva, Bloom, Barthes, and Bakhtin, the term describes the relationships between different Palestinian communities. The inter-textual nation, as an alternative paradigm of the national, creates an imaginary within which divergent narratives of Palestinian experience can be understood as a complex and networked whole. The intertextual nation creates imaginative links that break down not only the structures of thought which made thinking the nation-state possible, but further identifies, interrogates, and disrupts the structures of power that reinforced or existed alongside the nation state, including gender, family, and tradition. Subsumed within the story of an inter-textual Palestinian nation, these structures can no longer dictate or curtail what it means to be national. Imagined along the lines of Walter Benjamin's constellation of the idea, the intertextual nation becomes an open-ended and flexible construct that not only envisions a distinctive model for national belonging, but also prompts an alternative conceptual frame within which to read a new aesthetics of Arabic Literature more broadly.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral