Pacifist Invasions: Arabic, Translation & the Postfrancophone Lyric
Pacifist Invasions: Arabic, Translation, and the Postfrancophone Lyric is about what happens to the contemporary French lyric in the translingual Arabic context. Drawing on lyric theory, comparative poetics, and linguistics, it demonstrates how Arabic literature and Islamic scripture pacifically invade French in poetry by Habib Tengour (Algeria), Edmond Jabes (Egypt), Salah Stetie (Lebanon), Abdelwahab Meddeb (Tunisia), and Ryoko Sekiguchi (Japan). Pacifist Invasions deploys comparative side-by-side close readings of classical Arabic literature, Islamic scripture, and the Arabic commentary traditions in the original language, against the landscape of contemporary Francophone literature, poetry, and poetics. Detailed close readings reveal three generic modes of translating Arabic poetics into French lyric. The book analyzes how poets writing in French pacifically invade the language by engaging in a translational and intertextual relationship with the history and world of Arabic literature. Pacifist Invasions reveals the central importance of translational and intertextual poetics after colonialism, as they pacifically invade and denature the monolingual fabric of French. It recasts the field of Francophone Studies to account for transversal and transhistorical transmissions of literary forms and languages in Arabic, and offers fresh insight into the question of writing in the colonizer's language. The study shifts the focus to the context of Arabic and Islamic literary cultures, demonstrating how they pacifically invade French from within, rather than writing back from the margins of empire. Through close readings of poetry, translations, commentaries, chapbooks, art books, and essays, Pacifist Invasions proposes a rereading of Francophone literature in relation to the translations and transmissions of classical Arabic poetics, offering a translingual, comparative repositioning of the field of Francophone postcolonial studies along a fluid, translational Franco-Arabic axis.