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Title: The experience of exile in modern Arab poetry
Author: O'Rourke, Maureen
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis is a study of how exile has affected the work of several Arab poets of the latter half of the twentieth century, set against the political background of nationalism, the end of colonialism and the resultant Arab regimes, the effects of modernisation and globalisation, and the ramifications of the establishment of Israel. It also makes comparisons with recent theories of exile literature and of literary movements. The analysis is structured in three sometimes overlapping areas: firstly, depiction of the pain, insecurity and dangers of exile and of its causes, including elements of committed and resistance poetry; secondly, the search for affiliation, both through nostalgia and the Palestinians' claim to their country, and in substituting for old linkages a 'poetic terrain' or networks of real or virtual connections; and, thirdly, the creation of new poetics by changes in the form, content and philosophy of Arabic poetry, through fruitful interaction with the Arab heritage - the use of historical figures and genres, creative use of classical forms and metres, and, often by inversions, of classical topoi - in conjunction with, but not subsumed by, interaction with both the European heritage and with the contemporary avant-garde. The psychological effects of the disruptions of exile, and attempts to create meaning and identity are also taken into account, as well as the question of how poetry can be a vehicle for the expression of suffering and/or for raising political issues. Exiled Arab poets of the last half century, like other exiled poets, have made a significant contribution to their culture, especially in the field of modernist poetry, and have begun to establish it in world literature. And, because they have experienced so much, they have had much to say.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral