Arabic Literature Finds an Audience in Europe ; Arab Authors Were the Guests of Honor at the World's Biggest Book Fair, in Frankfurt This Fall

By Isabelle de Pommereau Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, December 29, 2004 | Go to article overview

Arabic Literature Finds an Audience in Europe ; Arab Authors Were the Guests of Honor at the World's Biggest Book Fair, in Frankfurt This Fall


Isabelle de Pommereau Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Iraqi novelist Alia Mamdouh has a message for the West: "How can you expect me, an Iraqi, whose country is being subjected to destruction, to trust Westerners - Americans - and to accept that they're the only ones on Earth and in the universe to possess the truth, when they don't take a step toward my culture, my existence, my language?" she asked in an interview with the International Parliament of Writers, a support organization for persecuted scribes.

Ms. Mamdouh is trying to bridge that cultural divide. She was one of 200 Arab authors who presented works at the Frankfurt Book Fair this fall, the world's biggest annual publishing event.

Since then, she has been touring Europe to promote her newest novel, "Passion." Set in England, where four Iraqi exiles meet after the US invasion of Iraq, the book explores the relationship between a polygamous man and his second wife. It's just one of 50 Arabic novels translated into German this year.

Far from the geopolitical battlefields that have brought Islam and the West face to face since Sept. 11, 2001, Arabic literature, unexplored in Europe just a decade ago, is making significant inroads here - and is helping to break down long-held stereotypes.

While still relatively small, the number of Arabic works translated into German, French, and English has been rising. Previously confined to specialized publishing houses, Arabic literature is now reaching mainstream publishers. "For the first time in the history of German publishing, there is a public debate about what Arab literature is," says Peter Ripken, director of the Society for the Promotion of African, Asian, and Latin American literature, in Frankfurt.

Since 9/11, books that deal with Arabic and Islamic issues have abounded. But they are often written by European experts and present "a false image of the Arab world," says Hachem Moawiya, head of Avicenne in Paris, one of Europe's biggest bookstores devoted to Arab authors.

"There is not only very latent but also very manifest racism when it comes to Arab literature," says Mr. Ripken. "That's why it's so important to read books by Arabic authors, because they have a different perspective than the Arab 'experts' who explain the Arab world to us."

The heightened profile of Arabic literature comes against a backdrop of controversy following complaints by the Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish rights groups, that at least eight books at the fair contained blatant anti-Semitic messages. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Arabic Literature Finds an Audience in Europe ; Arab Authors Were the Guests of Honor at the World's Biggest Book Fair, in Frankfurt This Fall
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.