Freshman seminar



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FRESHMAN SEMINAR
NELC 38

NARRATIVE JOURNEYS IN THE MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
PURPOSE and FORMAT: to introduce the freshmen enrolled in the class to a variety of narratives in different literary genres; to do so through the theme of the journey, whether it be a physical journey from one place to another, a process of change--a rite of passage perhaps, or an inward psychological quest. The culture from which the sources are selected is that of Arabic, but all the materials have been translated into English. The selections are chosen from the works of male and female writers and from different periods of Arabic literary history and a variety of venues within the Arab world. Because of the unfamiliarity of the background to the subject matter, the course will begin with a week of background information in the form of lectures by the instructor. After that, the sessions will consist of discussions of the various narrative

texts, in which students will be expected to participate.


REQUIREMENTS:
(1) reading of assigned texts before class sessions
(2) participation in class discussions of texts
(3) submission of two short (5-10 page) papers;
(a) an essay analysing one or more of the works read in the class, in the

form of either an individual critique or a comparison:


(b) a piece of creative writing in which a personal fictionalized journey is

told achronologically (a dream, flash-backs, a framed-story, etc.)


AND a 20-page term paper of a synthetic nature based on any or all of the

materials in the course. This longer paper is due by the end of the semester,

or in order to obtain a grade for the course.
All these papers should be discussed with me before you start writing.
EVALUATION: will be split equally between an assessment of class participation

and of the quality of the three submitted papers.

________________________
READINGS:
WEEK 1: INTRODUCTION: Journeys, real & metaphorical

Types of narrative

[see [1997] M.M. Enani, COMPARATIVE MOMENTS, Cairo: GEBO, 1996,

pp. 171-81.]

Arabic language & culture

The Middle East & Islam


WEEK 2: TRAVEL TO THE NORTH: Tayeb Saleh, SEASON OF MIGRATION TO THE NORTH

(Sudanese novel of 1960s)


WEEK 3: TRAVEL IN THE DESERT: Labid's "Mu`allaqah" (6th cent. Arabic poem)

: "Antar and Abla" (Bedouin oral romance), pp. 69-124.


WEEK 4: TRAVEL & ENTREPRENEURSHIP: The Tales of Sindbad (1001 NIGHTS)
WEEK 5: MUCH TRAVEL IN BRIEF: The short story

Najib Mahfuz, "Za`balawi"

Yusuf al-Sharuni, "The Crowd"

Layla al-`Uthman, "Pulling up roots"


WEEK 6: AWAY FROM THE CITY: `Abd al-Rahman Munif, ENDINGS

(contemporary Saudi-Jordanian novel)


WEEK 7: THE MODERN ARAB POET AS TRAVELER:

Hawi, "The Mariner and the Dervish"

Adunis, "A Grave for New York"

`Abd al-Wahhab al-Bayyati, "Traveler without baggage"


WEEK 8: OUT OF LEBANON: Hanan al-Shaykh, THE STORY OF ZAHRA

(contemporary Lebanese novel)


WEEK 9: THE PICARESQUE JOURNEY: Badi` al-zaman al-Hamadhani,

Maqamat (10th century vignettes)

[Baghdad, Mosul, Hulwan, Madira]
WEEK 10: A PILGRIM'S JOURNEY: Najib Mahfuz, THE JOURNEY OF IBN FATTOUMA

(A journey towards Nirvana...)


WEEK 11: TRAVEL ACCOUNT AS SERMON: City of Brass (1001 NIGHTS)
WEEK 12: VOYAGE AS DISCOVERY: Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, THE SHIP

(Palestinian novel of 1970s)


WEEK 13: JOURNEYS AS QUESTS: Yusuf Idris, "City Dregs" (IN THE EYE OF THE

BEHOLDER)


________________________
BOOK AVAILABILITY:
FOR PURCHASE:
Tayeb Saleh, SEASON OF MIGRATION TO THE NORTH, Washington: 3 Continents Press

[originally from Heinemann Books in London, 1970]


`Abd al-Rahman Munif, ENDINGS, London: Quartet Books, 1988.
Hanan al-Shaykh, THE STORY OF ZAHRA, London: Quartet Books, 1986.
Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, THE SHIP, Washington: 3 Continents Press, 1985.
Najib Mahfuz, THE JOURNEY OF IBN FATTOUMA, New York: Doubleday,

1992.
Yusuf Idris, IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, Minneapolis: Bibliotheca Islamica,

1978.

______________________


BULK-PACK CONTENTS:
Labid's "Mu`allaqah"

A.J. Arberry, THE SEVEN ODES, London: Allen and Unwin,


ANTAR AND ABLA: A BEDOUIN ROMANCE arr. Diana Richmond, London:

Quartet Books, 1978, pp. 69-124.


"The Tales of Sindbad," from THE ARABIAN NIGHTS trans. Richard

Burton, New York: Modern Library [= Random House], 1932, 367-433.


Najib Mahfuz, "Za`balawi," in MODERN ARABIC SHORT STORIES, Oxford

University Press, 1966; later issued by Heinemann in paperback


Yusuf al-Sharuni, "The Crush of Life," in EGYPTIAN SHORT STORIES tr.

Denys Johnson-Davies, Washington: 3 Continents Press, 1978, 103-17.


Layla al-`Uthman, "Pulling up roots," in THE LITERATURE Of MODERN

ARABIA ed. Salma al-Jayyusi, London: Routledge Kegan Paul, 1988,

483-488.
Hawi, "The Mariner and the Dervish"

in AN ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN ARABIC POETRY trans. Mounah Khouri and

Hamid Algar, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977, pp.

61-65.
Adunis, "A Grave for New York," JOURNAL OF ARABIC LITERATURE Vol.

XXI Part 1 (March 1990): 43-56.

[Leiden, Holland: E. J. Brill]


`Abd al-Wahhab al-Bayyati, "Traveler without baggage"

in AN ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN ARABIC POETRY trans. Mounah Khouri and

Hamid Algar, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977, pp.

117-21.
Badi` al-zaman al-Hamadhani, MAQAMAT trans. W. J. Prendergast,

London: Curzon Press, 1973 [reprint], 40-46, 61-64, 85-97.
"The City of Brass," from THE ARABIAN NIGHTS trans. Edward W. Lane,

New York: Bigelow and Brown, n.d., 491-535.


BOOKS ON RESERVE:
Tayeb Saleh, Season of Migration to the North, Washington: 3

Continents Press [originally from Heinemann Books in London,

1970]
`Abd al-Rahman Munif, Endings, London: Quartet Books, 1988.
Hanan al-Shaykh, The Story of Zahra', London: Quartet Books, 1986.
Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, The Ship, Washington: 3 Continents Press, 1985.
Ghassan Kanafani, Men in the Sun, Washington: 3 Continents Press,

1978.
Najib Mahfuz, The Journey of Ibn Fattouma, New York: Doubleday,

1992.
A.J. Arberry, The Seven Odes, London: Allen and Unwin,
Antar and Abla: A Bedouin Romance arr. Diana Richmond, London:

Quartet Books, 1978, pp. 69-124.


The Arabian Nights trans. Richard Burton, New York: Modern Library

[= Random House], 1932.


Modern Arabic Short Stories, Oxford University Press, 1966; later

issued by Heinemann in paperback


Egyptian Short Stories tr. Denys Johnson-Davies, Washington: 3

Continents Press, 1978.


The Literature of Modern Arabia ed. Salma al-Jayyusi, London:

Routledge Kegan Paul, 1988.


An Anthology of Modern Arabic Poetry trans. Mounah Khouri and Hamid

Algar, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977.


Journal of Arabic Literature Vol. XXI Part 1 (March 1990).

[Leiden, Holland: E. J. Brill]


Badi` al-zaman al-Hamadhani, Maqamat trans. W. J. Prendergast,

London: Curzon Press, 1973 [reprint].


In the Eye of the beholder ed. Roger Allen, Chicago: Bibliotheca

Islamica, 1977.


Mia Gerhardt, The Art of Storytelling, Leiden: E.J. Brill,
Roger Allen, The Modern Arabic Novel, Syracuse: Syracuse University

Press, 1982.



-----------, Modern Arabic Literature, New York: Ungar Publishing,

1987.
Cambridge History of Arabic Literature


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