Conspiracy in Modern Egyptian Literature

Conspiracy in Modern Egyptian Literature

by Benjamin Koerber


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Conspiracy theory in the Arab World has come to be associated with the rhetoric of Islamist extremists and authoritarian regimes. Yet its principle tropes - omnipotent secret societies, impending apocalypse, heroes who crack codes - have recurred in Arabic literature as well. A number of Egyptian authors, including Ali Ahmad Bakathir, Naguib Surur, Sonallah Ibrahim, Gamal al-Ghitani, and Youssef Rakha have crafted potent narratives of conspiracy that have remained unexamined until now.

In a series of case studies, this book examines the diverse uses of conspiracy theory in Egyptian fiction since the early twentieth century. Read against the historical and intertextual backgrounds of individual authors and their works, conspiracy theory emerges not as a single, rigid ideology, but as a style of writing that is equal parts literary and political.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781474417440
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Series: Edinburgh Studies in Modern Arabic Literature Series
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Benjamin Koerber is Assistant Professor of Arabic language and literature in the Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures at Rutgers University.

Table of Contents

Note on Transliteration and Translation
Chapter 1: Dramaturgies of Conspiracy: Bakathir, Idris, and the July Regime
Chapter 2: Naguib Surur: The Poetics and Politics of Niyaka
Chapter 3: Sonallah Ibrahim's al-Lajna: Between Critical Theory and Conspiracy Theory
Chapter 4: Gamal al-Ghitani's Hikayat al-Khabi'a: The Fitna of Sexual Deviance
Chapter 5: Paranoia in the Second Degree: Three Recent Novels

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