The Literary Imagination

Negation vs. Affirmation

By Ehab El Mallah
Translated by Humphrey Davies

Over the past few years the “explosion of the novel” has seen not only a noticeable increase in the number of novelists and of sales of this particular literary genre but also a major increase in the number of prizes devoted to it and in the attention paid to it by readers and critics. Now, however, things seem to be returning to normal and other kinds of literature have begun to stick their heads above the novel’s spate to revisit a modern and contemporary Arab cultural heritage and take it in new directions. The critic Ehab El Mallah takes a look at this phenomenon.

There is indeed a notable trend toward the reading of non-fiction…I  believe that there is a major expansion in both the publication and the reading of such books, owing to the notable success that some of them have enjoyed. Despite this, the fear that non-fiction will remain a prisoner of the nostalgia-memoirs-impressions bracket and at a distance from serious research work remains.

Karam Yusuf, publisher and director of al-Kotob Khan bookstores.


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