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Passage to a new wor(l)d: Exile and restoration in Mahmoud Darwish's writings 1960-1995
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology, Asian and African Languages and Cultures, Semitic languages.
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on developments of the exile motive in the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish’s writings 1960-1995. The sources consist primarily of Darwish’s diwans of poetry and articles published in literary magazines. The theme of exile in Darwish’s writings is placed in relation to literary developments of the 20th century, especially early Modernism. Special reference is made to the use of religious mythology. Founding myths of the Abrahamitic religions - creation, the death and resurrection of Christ and Muhammad’s hijra - are particularly important. The study shows how Darwish places poetry in a position similar to that of religion in traditional society. The theoretical framework is provided by models of the religious rites de passage, based primarily on Mircea Eliade’s theory, but also on theories dealing with psychological responses to exile. Based on the rite de passage-pattern, three main strategies of responding to exile are dealt with: separation, liminality and reintegration. The study shows a gradual development of these three strategies in Darwish’s works. In the 1960s, a pattern of separation, representing the exclusion of physical and symbolical exile, is predominant. In the 1970s, liminal patterns and a quest for reintegration become the dominant models. Until 1982, the rite of passage is nearly always aborted. Only later, with the use of mythological models for “a new beginning” constituting an eschatological rupture with the past, the reintegration of self, world and word becomes possible in Darwish’s poetry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2003. , 269 p.
Studia Semitica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0585-5535 ; 17
Keyword [en]
Arabic language, Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian literature, Exile and literature, Biblical motives in literature, Rite of passage
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Semitic Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3351ISBN: 91-554-5525-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-3351DiVA: diva2:162470
Public defence
2003-04-24, Ihresalen, Språkvetenskapligt centrum, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2003-03-19 Created: 2003-03-19Bibliographically approved

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