Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

A multilingual journal published annually, featuring original scholarly articles in Arabic, English, and occasionally French. Each multidisciplinary issue is dedicated to a specific theme.

Articles from No. 26, Annual

America Undone: Sonallah Ibrahim's Intra-Imperial Investigations
This article explores the way America--as a place both real and imagined--is constructed in the Egyptian novelist Sonallah Ibrahim's recent work Amrikanli. While this work openly critiques America's neo imperialist role in the Middle East and its history...
A Subversive Imperialist: Reappraising Freya Stark
In reconsidering the work of the writer and traveler Freya Stark, who died in 1993 aged 101, her godson--the author--argues that her human and artistic instincts ran in the opposite direction to the belief in British imperialism she espoused at a formal...
Europe through Eighteenth-Century Moroccan Eyes
This article compares two travel accounts by the eighteenth-century Moroccan ambassador Muhammad bin 'Uthman al-Miknasi. The accounts demonstrate that Arab-Muslim perceptions of the European Other were not exclusively predicated on religious premises,...
From the Diary of a Traveller: South Africa in 1923
This essay introduces prominent figures who undertook a journey in a South African bush in 1923, and presents an extract from the unpublished trek journal of Margaret Gillett, nee Clark, daughter of a well-known Somerset family. She and her husband...
Only the City Is Real: Lawrence Durrell's Journey to Alexandria
In both his travel books and his novels, Lawrence Durrell examines the nature of reality, not least in Prospero's Cell-about Corfu but written in Alexandria during the Second World War. Already in 1938, as his notebooks show, Durrell believed that...
Owen Jones: Travel and Vision of the Orient
The British architect Owen Jones (1809-1874) was a major influence on British design and decoration in the mid-nineteenth century. Many of his ideas, particularly concerning color and pattern, were derived from a visit he paid to Egypt in 1832-1833,...
Portrait of the Poet as an Unrepentant pilgrim/Portrait Du Poete En Pelerin Impenitent
This article evokes several seemingly dissimilar travel experiences: that of the religious pilgrim, the lover's visit, and the hero's trek across the desert, and builds on the assumption that it is possible to discern the similarities between them...
The Road Taken
In an extensive interview, Rodenbeck responds to questions posed by various colleagues on the significance of travel, travel literature, and cultural encounters. Rodenbeck elaborates his views and his convictions, marked in their unfolding by his encyclopedic...
Trans-Saharan Migration and the Colonial Gaze: The Nigerians in Egypt
Gordon James Lethem, a colonial officer in the Nigerian service, visited Egypt in 1925 to investigate the small community of Nigerians, called Takarir, to see if and how they were influencing the political and religious climate in Nigeria, specifically...
V. S. Naipaul: The White Traveler under the Dark Mask
V. S. Naipaul is a firm believer in an overarching universal culture built on progress and rationality. He rcpresents the assimilated and monocular colonial self, attributing the failures of Third World societies he writes about to the inherent backwardness...
Wanderlust: Travel Literature of Egypt and the Middle East
This issue of Alif takes its theme, epigraphs, and roaming structure from John Rodenbeck who taught Travel Literature for decades while passing on his passion for both Travel and Literature. The lust for wandering has been with humankind since earliest...
William Golding and His Egypts
William Golding wrote three travel texts on Egypt in which he mixed the factual and the fictional. The texts reveal Golding's long process of negotiating theories of identity. This article argues that Golding's theory of human identity imparted fluidity...
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.