By Valerie Anishchenkova
This unique exploration of Arab autobiographical discourse investigates a number of modes of cultural identification that have emerged in Arab societies within the final forty years. in this interval, autobiographical texts moved clear of exemplary lifestyles narratives and towards extra unorthodox suggestions corresponding to erotic memoir writing, postmodernist self-fragmentation, cinematographic self-projection and running a blog. Valerie Anishchenkova argues that the Arabic autobiographical style has advanced right into a cellular, unrestricted type arming authors with narrative instruments to articulate their selfhood.
Reading works from Arab countries similar to Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Syria and Lebanon, Anishchenkova connects the century's quick political and ideological advancements to expanding autobiographical experimentation in Arabic works. The vast scope of her examine additionally forces attention of movie and on-line kinds of self-representation and builds a brand new theoretical framework for those modes of autobiographical cultural creation.
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Eventually, out of the fatigue of everything, I decided to just do some final bold gestures and just send it no matter how doubtful I felt. I am now glad that I did it. It seems to tell people just what I experienced there with the ancient olive trees about which I began to feel very sisterly, as though they were accepting me into an ancient collective of those who have seen tragedy and joy. I am rarely mystical but sometimes the romance of it assuages the pain imposed on Palestine. (Samia Halaby, 2007) the formation of plural immediate fixations of autobiographical subjectivity (blog entries), combined with the reader’s direct involvement in the autobiographical act, creates a unique and previously impossible modality of identity making.
The art installation Deep Throat features a restaurant setting with the endoscopic video of the artist’s digestive system is shown on a white plate. Part of Hatoum’s “endoscopic journey” (also presented in another work entitled Corps étranger), the artwork explores the complex relationship of selfhood and corporeality and the representational discourse of the autobiographical body. With the extraordinary growth of visual culture, autobiography is in a state of perpetual metamorphosis. Autobiographical paintings, photography, and filmmaking continue to expand our understanding of human agency by offering new media of expression.
Indeed, not only do different areas of the Arab world have distinct colonial histories,4 but they also show substantial variations in their cultural and religious contexts, ideologies, social conditions, narrative traditions, and so forth. The linguistic situation is no less complicated. In addition to Arabic diglossia5 and the constant 40 | autobi og ra phi ca l id e n titie s egotiations between local (dialects) and dominant (fu‚ªā) linguistic disn courses, Arabic’s relationship with colonial languages is evidently complex as well.
Autobiographical Identities in Contemporary Arab Culture by Valerie Anishchenkova