Al-Khutūbah : defiance in the face of interrogation
Mamber, Aliza Keren.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2008.; Includes bibliographical references. I have translated the Arabic short story "Al-Khutūbah" by the Egyptian author Bahā Tāhir, provided some biographical information on the author, summarized and reacted to previous critiques of the story and the author's style, and analyzed the story for myself. Because this short story is one of Tāhir's lesser-known works, there is not much previous literature on the subject. One literary critic has commented on the uniqueness of Tāhir's writing style, how in its starkness it conveys a startling amount of emotion. Another focuses on the exaltation of the protagonist's spirit when he discovers his inner strength. Lānā Māmkigh does devote a whole section of her book to this story, touching on significant symbols and themes, but fails to delve deeply into them. My contribution to the literature will be partly to gather together these criticisms and show how each analysis is reflected in the story itself. I have included a short biography of the author and a section detailing the development of his literary attitudes and mindset toward his government. At the end, I focus on my own interpretation of the story as an unjust interrogation performed by a powerful authority figure (the father) upon a helpless individual (the young man). The situation is a reflection of the oppression the author faced from the Egyptian government, which led to his departure from the country.
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