The modern Arabic novel: a literary and linguistic analysis of the genre of popular fiction, with special reference to translation from English.
Al-Bataineh, Afaf Badr
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The aim of this thesis is to examine the notion of 'genre' in general as a basic unit in linguistic, cultural and literary analysis. Chapter One is an introduction to this study outlining my aims and objectives which are mainly related to popular fiction in English and Arabic. Chapter Two discusses the theory of genre both from a linguistic and a literary point of view, underlining crosscultural differences and similarities. These critical insights should enable us to form an overall picture of how the subject of my case study (Mills & Boon and its translation into Arabic) is viewed in the languages and cultures concerned: this particular genre has not been acceptable to the Western literary establishment until recently, and is not acceptable to the Arabic critical establishment even today. Chapter Three historically deals with the first attempts in writing novels in Arabic. This was influenced by translation, but an Arabic genre nevertheless emerged. Chapter Four critically focuses on this aspect of the canonization of the novel in Arabic. This has influenced the development of popular fiction in this language. Chapter Five presents a detailed analysis of one particular example of popular fiction in Arabic, one which was seen negatively by the critics. Chapter Six discusses the tension between the canon and the periphery as far as the novel is concerned. This is illustrated by an analysis of an Arabic novel which we take to be a good example of popular fiction. Chapter Seven deals with aspects of Eastern and Western translation theory relevant to my analysis of genre. Chapter Eight presents a detailed analysis of a Mills & Boon novel in English and its translation into Arabic. Finally, Chapter Nine briefly summarizes the issues discussed and points us towards some general direction and pedagogic implications.