مصريون قلباﹰ .. فرانكوفونيون قالباﹰ: شهادة شخصية / Egyptian Heart, French Tongue: A Personal Tetimony
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Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics
[The author of this essay, a prominent Egyptian writer, recalls Egyptian Francophone writers based on his encounters with them and/or reading their works. He provides Arabic translations of excerpts from their works to illustrate his points. Albert Cossery-whom he read when he was still a teenager, and met later in Paris- is identified as a precursor of the philosophical absurd. Al-Kharrat is fascinated by Cossery's fantastic realism, surrealism, black humor and the depiction of popular Cairo. Cossery's Francophone texts have an Egyptian lining-a contradictory feat that only art and life can exhibit simultaneously. Ahmed Rassim, another Francophone writer, translated Arabic proverbs and celebrated the Egyptianness of the artist Mahmud Sa'id. Rassim's poetics with its contrived beauty runs against that of Joyce Mansour with its powerful and wild magic. The excess of Mansour is seen as a trait typical of Upper Egypt and of religious art and architecture in Coptic icons and Islamic shrines. Moving to George Henein, al-Kharrat asserts that Arabic is the latent language in the French text. Finally, al-Kharrat writes about Edmond Jabès who moved to France in the mid fifties, but never felt at home there. Al-Kharrat quotes Jabès about his roots in Egypt and his rejection of Israel as a solution for him. Jabès challenges to time are akin to those of the Pharaohs. Al-Kharrat finds correspondence between the trans-genre writing which he has espoused and Jabès' multi-genre texts combining aphorisms, poetry, prose and parables. Al-Kharrat argues that the surrealism of the 1940s in Egypt whcih was spearheaded by Francophone writers had remained dormant until the 1970s when it was revived by Egyptian writers in Arabic.]
(2000). مصريون قلباﹰ .. فرانكوفونيون قالباﹰ: شهادة شخصية / Egyptian Heart, French Tongue: A Personal Tetimony. Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, 8–28.
"مصريون قلباﹰ .. فرانكوفونيون قالباﹰ: شهادة شخصية / Egyptian Heart, French Tongue: A Personal Tetimony." Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, no. 20, 2000, pp. 8–28.