أسطورة الفقد / الاستعادة : إعادة قراءة باكستانية للأندلس / Myth of Lost/Regained: A Pakistani Rereading of Andalusia



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عبد المسيح, ماري تريز; Abd el Messih, Marie-Thérèse

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Research Article

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Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[The history of Andalusia is interwoven with myth. It has invoked different interpretations coloured by divided conceptions/misconceptions. A linear reading of the Andalusian history has led historians to set loss/regain as binary opposites. This reading has prompted predetermined notions about the developed North, and the underdeveloped South. Such a colonial discourse has instigated a reversed colonial discourse in the South. The nostalgia for the Arab glory in Andalusia provided the fuel to kindle the myth. However, in Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree (1993), Andalusia is configured as an ambivalent code: conquests are veiled defeats, and defeat may inflame the urge for a re-conquest. Tarek Ali, a Pakistani expatriate in England, proposes a re-reading of the Andalusian history. His practice brings out a symbiotic network of relations, revealing a global destiny. Eventually, attempts of normalizing the discourse of victory and defeat are subverted. The confrontation between Christianity and Islam in Andalusia, after the fall of Granada in 1499, reveals a common predicament. Invasion invokes resistance and the final massacre marks the downfall of a rich culture, both parties sharing a common defeat. The purpose of the article is to explore the strategies used by the author to deconstruct the myth of Andalusia lost/regained. By shifting lenses through framing, focusing and probing into details, he configures a multicultural society, where Christian and Muslim fail to be identified in strict terms. Both occupy a common space within a general framework, where both cultures meet. This is traced through a minute documentation of daily events, revealing the interaction of the subjects within their natural and cultural environment. By perceiving the hybridity of cultures through the shifting perspectives, the reader may reconsider misconceptions about identity formation. The reading of this historiographic narrative becomes a cultural analysis of the inherited values, prevalent until our days, entrenched by myths.]

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