The Archeology of Literature: Tracing the Old in the New

Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, Annual 2004 | Go to article overview

The Archeology of Literature: Tracing the Old in the New


This issue of Alif is inspired by Doris Enright-Clark Shoukri and her approach to literary appreciation. Steeped in the Classics and having worked on medieval Latin texts for her doctorate, she nevertheless taught and continues to teach modern and postmodern literature. She uncovers traces of the old literary heritage in the new poetry, novels, drama, and criticism. Like a dedicated archeologist, she thrives on digging and reaching beneath the surface to come in touch with concealed and buried cultural artifacts and treasures.

The contributors to this issue partake in Professor Shoukri's conviction that to appreciate the contemporary, gazing at it is not enough: you need to think of texts in their palimpsest quality and read what has been erased or covered in the process of innovating. Many of the contributors to this issue are colleagues and ex-students of hers, but some are virtual colleagues as they share in her aesthetic orientation. As Professor Shoukri constantly emphasizes the creative and the philosophical in her critical approach, this issue includes poets, novelists, and artists in their own voices as well as analytical and philosophical essays. …

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