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Title: A comparative study of Taha Husain's views and the Western conception of fiction
Author: Salloum, D.
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1957
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In the present Thesis "A Comparative Study of Taha Husain's Views and the Western Conception of Fiction" we deal with an author who has a strong impact over all Middle Eastern thought. Through our studying his works we have injected new ideas and methods of criticism hoping to give the reader a faithful picture of the conception of the critics in the west. We deal in the first part with the life of the author to serve as a back-ground for the whole research and to satisfy the reader's curiosity about any question which may arise from reading any chapter in the Thesis. In the first chapter of the second part, we deal with the short story both from the critics and the authors point of view. The western critics, especially English and American critics have supplied us with all the necessary information. Taha Husain's stories serve as practical field for the study as it is. In the second chapter we deal with the study of Autobiographical works and memoirs. In the third chapter, we deal with Taha Husain's romantic and social novels not forgetting to compare them with works of similar spirit in French literature as well as giving an account of the critics' conception of the novel in the West. In the fourth chapter we study his historical novels and works following the same plan of comparison which we adopted in the third chapter. The third part of this Thesis deals with the scientific and Aesthetic criticism which inevitably results from the continuous production of fiction and other Forms of Literature. In the first chapter of this part we try to give a clear picture of certain French critics who, in our opinion, influenced Taha Husain's scientific approach to literature which is only one side of his two fold method i.e. Sentific and Aesthetic criticism. In the following five chapters is a general review of all Taha Husain's critical works on Arabic literature. Except for points on which we lay strong emphasis, otherwise, it is left to the reader after he grasps the method of the French critics, to form a conclusion for the influence of the French critics on Taha Husain's method. In the second part of the Thesis which is concerned with the study of Taha Husain's short stories and novels, we will grasp the idea that Taha Husain is an author whose literature has a message in spite of the author's denial of this. To explain the reasons for this grave fact which undermines the value of many of his works, we have to ask ourselves why this is so? To answer this we have to study, in two lengthy appendices, Egyptian Society at large referring also to his plans to make a better society out of the existing chaos. We refer not only to his plans for political reformation but also to his plans for a better educational system. The present social revolution, with its good will, in Egypt might help some of his hopes for his dear Egypt to become true. We have supplied also extracts from his books as representative of his style and ideas. I might take the opportunity to criticize my own Thesis before anybody else does. Some might think that there are too many texts injected into the Thesis and I will not be surprised if others think that there are too few in such comparative study between the literatures of two worlds. My answer to the first group will be that I have the Arabic reader always in view while I am writing the Thesis since I wish him to be in touch with, as far as possible, systemized fictional and literary texts, so that he might have a clear perception of modern critical forms and values of which he has so little.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral