مقدمات
Volume 2, Numéro 4, Pages 211-250

The East-west Cultural Passage Of Jabra Ibrahim Jabra

Authors : Bishop Elizabeth .

Abstract

Trained in literary criticism at Cambridge University, Jabra Ibrahim Jabra (1919-1994) left Bethlehem during 1948 for Iraq—where he built a new life as academic and translator. Of his own work, Jabra stated: “whoever studies my works must study all of my currents and trends together; he should study them in chronological progression” (Jabra, Princesses’ Street 33). Jabra’s work serves as an east/west cultural passage by referencing contemporaries’ texts in Arabic and English, a series of references that can be mapped to indicate his novel’s place among a variety of subjectivities characteristic of the 1950s. In addition to seven Shakespeare plays—among them, Coriolanus, Hamlet, King Lear, and the Tempest (Thompson 362), his translation of William Faulkner’s Sound and the Fury was “highly influential” among Arab modernists (Aboul-Ela 296). This essay addresses Jabra’s first novel, in the context of 1950s Baghdad and another Faulkner novel.

Keywords

American literature ; Arab film ; Arab literature ; Existentialism ; Iraq ; nakba ; translation ; William Faulkner