Muḥammad Khuḍayyir from Saddam Hussein to the gardens of the south: writing the self in postcolonial Basra

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Abstract

In 2001 Saddam Hussein called on Iraqis to write novels inspired by the First Gulf War. Muḥammad Khuḍayyir (b. 1942) responded to the presidential invitation by writing Kurrāsat Kānūn (2001, the Winter Sketchbook), a text that is neither a conventional novel, nor a celebration of Saddam's war. Khuḍayyir calls this new type of text an “assembling text.” Kurrāsat Kānūn and the author's next “assembling text” represent an innovative mode of writing which is an alternative to both mainstream conventional fiction and the recent experimentations of Arab writers. A reading of both texts that places Khuḍayyir within the contexts of various literary fields shows how his works express a vision of world literature from the perspective of a contemporary Arab writer who escapes both the threatening reality of post-independence regimes and the Eurocentric tendencies of postcolonial theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalMiddle Eastern Literatures
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Muḥammad Khuḍayyir
  • Goya
  • Hybridity
  • Iraqi fiction
  • Postcolonial identity
  • World literature

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