A NATION BORN IN MOURNING: THE NEOCLASSICAL FUNERAL ELEGY IN EGYPT* Say that the hero is his nation, . In him made one, and in that saying Destroy all references. - Wallace Stevens, "Examination of the Hero in a Time of War" Biographers of Mustafa Kamil, the founder of the Egyptian nationalist movement, are quick to point out that his support of the Ottoman Sultan's rights of sovereignty over Egypt, as well as his alliance with the Khedive of Egypt, 'Abbas II, were wholly strategic in character with no other aim than to dislodge the British from Egypt.' This is borne out in Kdmil's stud- ied vagueness concerning the future of Egypt as an Ottoman province, and in his dissolution of the khedival alliance as early as 1904, by which time it had become clear that the Khedive had made his separate peace with the occupying power. In fact the social class from which Mustafa Kamil and many of his supporters came, the western-educated bureaucratic and pro- fessional class, was coming increasingly to impose its own conception of the proper function of monarchy and monarchical institutions in society. People, community, or nation, came to be seen as the
Journal of Arabic Literature – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1997
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