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Poetics of the fictional place in the novel of the Arab peninsula

Poétique du lieu fictionnel dans le roman de la péninsule arabe

شعرية المكان التخييلي في روايات شبه الجزيرة العربية

Revue « Littérature et culture arabes contemporaines » (LiCArC), N°11

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Published on Tuesday, May 03, 2022 by Lucie Choupaut

Summary

The next issue of the magazine will focus on the poetics of the place in the novel produced in the Arab peninsula. Since the 1990s, with the appearance of the “spatial turn”, many theoretical studies have renewed ways of analyzing the construction of places in the novelistic text, giving them a new status within the narrative. This issue aims to analyse space in the novel from a particular point of view, that of place, a concept on which theoretical approaches agree, not space because of its multiple definitions and metaphorical uses.

Announcement

Argument

The next issue of the magazine will focus on the poetics of the place in the novel produced in the Arab peninsula.

Since the 1990s, with the appearance of the «spatial turn», many theoretical studies have renewed ways of analyzing the construction of places in the novelistic text, giving them a new status within the narrative. Geocriticism, geopoetics, theories of narration and ecocriticism, in particular, have made it possible to reveal the fundamental role of space in the narrative construction and semantic organization of the modern and postmodern narrative, “an essential element of representation of the reality, material and social, both at the level of semiosis and at the level of mimesis” (Mitterrand: 2009).

This issue aims to analyse space in the novel from a particular point of view, that of place, a concept on which theoretical approaches agree, not space because of its multiple definitions and metaphorical uses. Therefore, questions about literary space or textual space will not be integrated into the themes covered by this issue.

The place will be considered as a tangible space, geographically located or characterized by a materiality built by the narrative (e.g. Mitterrand: 2009). «The place is a space located, bounded and characterized» (Gélinas-Lemaire: 2019), built in the text through the perceptions of the characters, their movements and actions, as well as by its position in the topography of the novel.

As part of the story, it contributes to the structuring of the story and establishes a new “reality” with particular meanings within fiction. The papers will therefore question the ways the novel «makes» geography, according to the expression of Marc Brosseau.

With this logic, the papers should analyse the organization of places in the novelistic spaces, the processes used to create them and their functions in the narrative construction as well as in the creation of fictional universes that convey the personal or collective knowledge, the memory and the imaginary.

The reflection may be internal to the text. It should also open up to extratextual realities through the analysis of the narrative’s relationship with the off-text, the social, historical, cultural contexts in which the texts were produced and of which the places give a fictional reading. For, in the space recreated by the narrative, the link between «the world and the text, the referent and its representation (referentiality), [...] the real and the fiction is renewed» (Westphal: 2007, p. 17).

The analysis will focus on the novels produced in the Arab peninsula during the last thirty years. This period witnessed a remarkable rise of the novel and its great creativity, in this part of the Arab world. However, it remains too little studied in the field of Arabic Studies, although the last three decades have been important in the development of Saudi, Kuwaiti, Yemeni, and, more recently, Emirati, Bahraini, Omani and Qatari literatures. They highlighted the maturity acquired by the novelistic production of these countries. The papers gathered in this issue will thus make it possible to deepen the study of the trends that irrigate literary writing today. The representation of place – referential or not – mobilizes literary processes and themes that show the current evolution of literature. It questions memory and history and confronts them with the present; it elaborates an imaginary of places, both personal and shared, and expresses the main topics that question contemporary societies: in particular the transformation of society towards a more inclusive model, respectful for individuals; the evolution of women’s position in the society; the necessary negotiation between a changing regional identity and the realities of a modern, technological and globalized world.

The proposals will be based on the following thematic axis:

Narrative construction and the mise-en-scene of the place

  • Function of place in the narrative
  • Modalities of the “elaboration” of the place
  • Description, objects, landscapes and perceptions of the place
  • Space mapping

The place as a palimpsest

  • Place as a metaphor of the subject and matrix of the territory
  • The expression of cultural knowledge, of collective memory
  • Rewriting of personal stories/ of History by place

Referential place /imaginary place

The uncertain place

  • Space for violence and exclusion
  • The war
  • The identity disorder
  • Commitment for another world

The allegorical place

  • Place of exile / of belonging
  • Here and elsewhere, the centre and the periphery
  • Place of present or memory

The thematic place

the city, the sea, the countryside, the frîj / the district…

Submission guidelines

The novels studied may be in Arabic or in other languages. The approaches may be theoretical or analytical, following different methodologies. The concepts used must be clearly indicated and defined. Contributions must not exceed 35,000 characters.

The languages of publication are English and French. Proposals may also be drafted in Arabic, but the final text of the contribution must be submitted in English or French.

Proposals should be sent to:

elisabeth.vauthier@univ-lyon3.fr and laurence.denooz@univ-lorraine.fr

Submission deadline: May 31, 2022

Scientific committee

  • Jean Akiki (Université Saint-Esprit Kaslik-Liban)
  • Tayeb Bouderbala (Université de Batna-Algérie)
  • Sobhi Boustani (Inalco-France)
  • Martina Censi (Université de Bergame-Italie)
  • Charbel Dagher (Université Balamand-Liban)
  • Salam Diab-Duranton (Université de Grenoble)
  • Miloud Gharrafi (Université Jean Moulin-Lyon 3)
  • Georges Khaïrallah (Université de Strasbourg)
  • † Georges Khoury (Université de Heidelberg, Allemagne)
  • Xavier Luffin (Université libre de Bruxelles-Belgique)
  • Francesco Paolo Alexandre Madonia (Université de Palerme-Italie)
  • Antonino Pellitteri (Université de Palerme-Italie)
  • Daniela Potenza (Università degli Studi di Messina-Italie)
  • Léna Saade-Gebran (Université Saint-Esprit Kaslik-Liban)
  • Maria-Grazia Sciortino (Université de Palerme-Italie)
  • Daniele Sicari (Université de Palerme-Italie)
  • Élisabeth Vauthier (Université Jean Moulin-Lyon 3)
  • Edgard Weber (Université de Strasbourg-France)

Bibliography

BOURNEUF Roland, « L’organisation de l’espace dans le roman », dans Etudes Littéraires, vol. 3, n°1, Québec, 1970, p. 77-94.

BOUVET Rachel, Littérature et géographie, Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2018.

BOUVET Rachel et CAMUS Audrey, Topographies romanesques, Rennes, PUR, 2011.

BROSSEAU Marc, Des romans-géographes, Paris, L’Harmattan, 1996.

COLLOT Michel, La pensée-paysage, Arles, Actes Sud, 2011.

GELINAS-LEMAIRE Vincent, Le récit architecte, Paris, Garnier, 2019.

HAYEK Ghenwa, Beirut, Imagining the City: Space and Place in Lebanese Literature, Tauris, 2015.

LAHAIE Christiane, « Entre géographie et littérature. La question du lieu et de la mimesis », Géographie et littérature, vol. 52, n° 147, déc. 2008.

MITTERRAND Henri, Le discours du roman, Paris, PUF, 1980

MITTERRAND Henri, « Espaces de l’histoire et espaces du roman » dans Zola tel qu’en lui-même, Paris, PUF, 2009, p. 59-74.

NARDOUT-LAFARGE Elisabeth et LANGEVIN Francis, « L’instabilité du lieu dans la fiction narrative contemporaine », Temps zéro, dossier n° 6, avril 2013.

RONEN Ruth, “Space in Fiction”, in Poetics Today , 1986, Vol. 7, No. 3, p. 421-438.

WESTPHAL Bertrand, La Géocritique : réel, fiction, espace. Paris, Minuit, 2007.

WESTPHAL Bertrand, Geocriticism: Real and Fictional Spaces. 2007. Trans. Robert T. Tally. New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

WESTPHAL Bertrand, The Plausible World: A Geocritical Approach to Space, Place, and Maps. 2013. Trans. Amy Wells. New York,Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Subjects


Date(s)

  • Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Keywords

  • littérature, péninsule arabe, représentation, espace

Contact(s)

  • Laurence Denooz
    courriel : laurence [dot] denooz [at] univ-lorraine [dot] fr
  • Elisabeth Vauthier
    courriel : elisabeth [dot] vauthier [at] univ-lyon3 [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Laurence Denooz
    courriel : laurence [dot] denooz [at] univ-lorraine [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Poetics of the fictional place in the novel of the Arab peninsula », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, May 03, 2022, https://calenda.org/991939

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