الانعكاس والانعكاس الأدبي / Reflection and Literary Reflection


Feissal Darraj



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درّاج, فيصل; Darraj, Feissal

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[Reflection or the homologies between different levels of reality is a basic and complex issue in Marxist aesthetics. The article explores the intricacy and richness of the concept and its implications, interpretations and manifestations in the context of Arab cultural and literary production. The author offers a nuanced view of the historical and philosophical mechanisms involved in literary reflection. His exposition is preceded by an elaborate deconstruction of the reductive application -- in his view -- of the Marxist position on the issue which identifies reflection with mirroring and sees literature and reality as separate and parallel. In a close reading of major Arab Marxist criticism of the last three decades, Darraj reveals their latent idealist and a historical dimension. The author proposes the study of the modes of articulation and reproduction of the ideological in the literary work as well as the social and historical conditions of marginalizing / centralizing given texts, rather than the evaluation of the fidelity of the literary work to reality. Darraj sets the groundwork for a neo-Marxist approach by simultaneously calling for an alternative reading into the concept of reflection as well as demonstrating his new interpretation by drawing extensively on Arabic narrative, dramatic and poetic works. He shows that in these literary examples, it is not so much the static lived experience that is reflected but the structure of dynamic reality. Furthermore, such literary texts reflect reality at a second remove since they reflect an already refracted view of it through ideological prisms. Finally, other literary texts and ideological discourses --as part of social reality -- are incorporated and reflected in the literary work. The project of Darraj offers the outline of a theory of literature where the question of the evolution of forms and the struggle of idiolects is integrated, not simply juxtaposed or superimposed, into a Marxist methodology.]

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