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9783895005688

Saugestad , Frode

Individuation and the Shaping of Personal Identity

A Comparative Study of the Modern Novel

2009
17.0 x 24.0 cm, 304 p., hardback
45,00 €

ISBN: 9783895005688
Preface
Table of Contents
Sample

Short Description

This book endeavors to contribute to comparative literary studies, especially the study of the modern novel, through its analysis of the process of individuation in four distinct literatures, two Western and two Arabic: Norwegian literature through the work of Knut Hamsun, Irish through the work of James Joyce, Egyptian through the work of Naguib Mahfouz, and Sudanese through the work of Tayeb Salih. The overarching aim is to link the process of individuation to the novel as a distinct literary genre and demonstrate how one can probe certain aspects of individuation through studying the novel.
The investigation of the texts draws on a set of complex and discerning theories from the sociology of culture as well as identity and literary theory, represented by the thinkers Pierre Bourdieu, Stuart Hall, Anthony Giddens, René Girard, and Mikhail Bakhtin. Contextualizing each writer in their specific literary field of production enables us to identify the specificity of their literary contribution in the process of shaping personal identity.

Description

This book endeavours to contribute to comparative literary studies, especially the study of the modern novel, through its analysis of the process of individuation in four distinct literatures, two western and two Arabic.
The overarching aim of this study is therefore to link the process of individuation to the novel as a distinct literary genre, and demonstrate how one can probe certain aspects of individuation through the study of the novel. This particular approach creates a significant dialogical interaction between the process of individuation and the genre of the novel. By contextualising each writer in his specific literary field of production one is able to identify the specificity of his literary contribution, in the process of shaping personal identity.
The introduction outlines the theoretical framework and argues that literary texts are immersed in a complex social network of power relations relevant to perceptions of identity, the process of individuation and the psychology of the individual, by linking them to the complex process of modernity. The study grounds its investigation in the most sophisticated theories in the sociology of cultures, identity and literary theory through the work of Pierre Bourdieu, Stuart Hall, Anthony Giddens, René Girard, and Mikhail Bakhtin. By doing so it avoids the normative and simplistic understanding of the process of individuation, and the genre of the novel. It views the modern novel as immersed in a complex social network of power relations (Bourdieu), relevant to perceptions of identity (Hall), and the process of individuation and the psychology of the individual (Girard), interwoven into the fabric of the complex process of modernity (Giddens) and articulated in the modern novel due to its polyphony of voices (Bakhtin).
Chapter one analyses the process of individuation in Norwegian literature through the work of Knut Hamsun and in particular his novels, Hunger, Mysteries, and Pan. Chapter two examines Irish literature and James Joyce’s contribution through novels like A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. Chapter three studies the Arabic-Egyptian literature of Naguib Mahfouz and the novels The Beggar and Respected Sir. Chapter four investigates the work of the Arabic-Sudanese novelist Tayeb Salih in his Season of Migration to the North, and The wedding of Zein. The conclusion brings together the result of the analysis and relates the process of individuation and the shaping of personal identity to the genre of the novel.
This book would be of interest to students and scholar of comparative literature, be it Norwegian, Irish or modern Arabic.

Biographical Note

Frode Saugestad
Received Ph.D. in 2006 from SOAS, University of London in Comparative Literature. Post-doctoral research fellow at Center for Middle Eastern Studies, CMES, Harvard University 2007–Present. Teaching in the Comparative Literature department at Harvard University spring 2010.

Series Description

Literatures in Context is a peer-reviewed book series devoted to Near Eastern and North African literatures. The editors want the title of the series to be understood programmatically. They presuppose a concept of world literature that includes Near Eastern and North African literatures. What is more, they assume that literatures are in many ways marked by intertextuality, that they constitute readings of extremely diverse earlier texts, and that they are posited within a field of tensions, much broader than their respective national language. For the earlier eras of Near Eastern and North African literatures, this field of tensions geographically covers the regions of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor. In modern times, it has become a space of interaction that has long since included “global” Western literatures (and realities). This does not imply that the modern Near Eastern and North African literatures have severed themselves from their predecessors. Instead it is precisely the tension between different sets of references in modern Near Eastern and North African literatures, or their “local historical context”, which is a great part of their attraction, that remains a crucial field of research for the modern scholar.

Keywords

Afro-Asiatic languages (122) || Arabic (93) || Arabistik (27) || Celtic languages (6) || Germanic & Scandinavian languages (61) || Historical & comparative linguistics (359) || Indo-European languages (408) || Irish Gaelic (5) || Linguistics (657) || Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers (29) || Literature: history & criticism (150) || Literaturwissenschaft (60) || Norwegian || Orientalische Sprachen (13) || Scandinavian languages (2) || Semitic languages (95) || Sprachwissenschaft (85)