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Berlin Event: Sinan Antoon & Elias Khoury on Violenc and Death in Their Novels (19 December 2016)

EUME Discussion:

The Poetics and Politics of the Body in Pain:
Violence and Death in the Novels of
Elias Khoury and Sinan Antoon

Monday 19 December 2016 at 5pm
Forum Transregionale Studien
Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

Discussants:

Chair: Friederike Pannewick (Philipps-Universität Marburg / EUME)

This session will present the novelists Elias Khoury and Sinan Antoon with two of their novels, both dealing with the harrowing everyday presence of violence, pain and death in Lebanon and Iraq. Both, Antoon’s “Wahdaha shajarat al-rumman” (ar. 2010)/ “The Corpse Washer” (engl. 2013) and “Yalo” (ar. 2002, engl. 2008) by Khoury touch upon the complex relationship between art and violence in the context of civil war, sectarianism and occupation. The relationship between the literary text and reality is continuously being subjected to reevaluation, both by writers themselves as well as in scholarly analysis. In Arabic literature, the risk of committed literature of being employed to cover affirmative positions vis-à-vis hegemonic discourses and leading political doctrines has been at the heart of heated public debate since the 1940s. Literature’s potential to conceal or reveal social injustice and political persecution or torture has been judged quite controversially. This session is going to critically reflect on these issues in a panel discussion with two leading authors of modern Arabic literature.

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