Blindness and Autobiography: Al-Ayyam of Taha Husayn by Fedwa Malti-Douglas

By Fedwa Malti-Douglas

The three-volume life-story of the Egyptian highbrow Tahah Husayn (1889-1973) is a landmark in sleek autobiography, in Arabic letters, and within the literature of blindness. This justly celebrated textual content, although, hasn't ever been subjected to the sustained literary research right here provided through Fedwa Malti-Douglas. Born right into a modest relations and blinded in youth, Husayn however conquered first his personal after which a eu academic process to turn into considered one of his country's top modernizers. Professor Malti-Douglas exhibits that the non-public, social, and literary truth of the hero's blindness offers the autobiography its solidarity and strength. Blindness and Autobiography isn't just a wealthy explication of al-Ayyam yet a pioneering research of the interplay among a critical actual handicap and the autobiographical technique. It provides a brand new point of view to the modern dialogue of the cultural makes use of of the physique. the 1st a part of the publication explores blindness and society, from the evolving clash among own and social conceptions of the handicap to the way in which blindness redefines the extra typical problems with conventional as opposed to glossy, East as opposed to West. the second one part examines the connection of blindness to the autobiography's ecriture, rhetoric, and narration.

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Downtown Beirut is perhaps the only other city I have seen from which to draw a parallel, but even there the damage was no longer so all-embracing and restoration was taking place. It was only as I squinted to temper the bright light, that I could imagine shadows of old Portugal—exfoliating pink stucco contrasted the white window frames of the bruised civic buildings. Tree-lined streets connoted a sense of pride: the city was tidy, if not dusty. Someone then leaned over to explain that there was no running water, little electricity, nothing of the functioning life we usually took for granted, although by then I was hardly surprised.

Chapter 10 Music and Dark Thoughts Wei writes... It was a Friday night and I couldn't sleep. Shards of music awoke me from my insect-haunted slumber. Gradually I became conscious of an incessant din, peppered with distant laughter. With further sleep unlikely, I lay there marvelling at how people can be so passionate about festas (parties) in the middle of a war. Music seemed to be at the very heart of life: a defiant expression or therapy to soothe the soul. Parties seemed to take on a new meaning and even more so during the days of heavy fighting.

Chapter 8 Death's s Precipice r Wei continues... I never even knew her name, but she was probably about twelve years, older perhaps. There was no way of telling, as malnutrition ravages the body, stunts growth, and distorts one's ability to judge age by the usual standards. She was one of the first patients referred to me from the pediatric ward and she had all the telltale signs: protruding ribs and hair tinged the colour of straw. Her sallow, ebony skin contrasted with the bright patterned cloth that was spread out under her.

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