Literature, Journalism and the Avant-Garde: Intersection in by Elisabeth Kendall

By Elisabeth Kendall

The author explores the position of journalism in Egypt in effecting and selling the advance of contemporary Arabic literature from its inception within the mid-nineteenth century to the current day. Remapping the literary scene in Egypt over contemporary decades, Kendall focuses at the self sustaining, often dissident, journals that have been the genuine hotbed of cutting edge literary activity and which made a lasting impact by means of propelling Arabic literature into the post-modern era.

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Extra info for Literature, Journalism and the Avant-Garde: Intersection in Egypt (Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures)

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113 See al-Hilal, 15 Aug. 752 for evidence on confusion over the word adab. In fact, there are broader examples of journal titles which one might now consider misleading: al-Mathaf (The Museum,1893) had nothing whatsoever to do with artefacts and an advertisement on the front page that ‘the fine arts’ (al-funun al-jamïla) featured among the contents simply indicated the inclusion of a picture or two to supplement an article; al-Futughraf (The Photograph, 1903) dealt with politics and current affairs rather than the cinema or photography, and al-Tamthïl (Acting/Representation,1899) with politics rather than the theatre.

120–3. For example, al-Ta’if, al-Mufïd, al-Safïr, al-Naja and al-Zaman. For example, al-Watan, Rawdat al-Iskandariyya, Mir’at al-Sharq and al-Burhan. S. Hafez, The Genesis of Arabic Narrative Discourse (1993), p. 85. , p. 84. Salama Musa, The Education of Salama Musa (1961), p. 123. , p. 38. 21 LITERARY JOURNALISM: EMERGENCE AND DEVELOPMENT technophile poetry,67 in keeping with the scientific orientation of its editors, Ya‘qub Sarruf and Faris Nimr, who understood poetry as an alternative source of knowledge.

150. 147 D. Glaß, op. , p. 244. 148 This is calculated according to the literary content of the January issues of al-Muqtataf and al-Hilal, 1940–9. A. Shalash, al-Majallat al-Adabiyya fï Misr: Tatawwuru-ha wa-Dawru-ha, 1939–52 (1988), pp. 7–8; Table, p. 35. 149 25 per cent in al-Majalla al-Jadïda, 42 per cent in Majallatï, 45 per cent in al-Thaqafa and 55 per cent in al-Risala. I have calculated these statistics based on issues taken at six-monthly intervals for the first five years of the journals’ lives (two and a half years for Majallatï), since it is arguably in these first years that the journals were at their best and their editors at their most devoted.

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