LIVING ON THE EDGE: SABAH AL-KHARRAT ZWAYN'S POETIC WRITINGS I Born in 1956 of a Lebanese father and a Spanish mother, Sabah al-Kharrat Zwayn speaks fluently Arabic, French, and Spanish while she is presently perfecting her English. Broadly travelled and well read, she moves freely among countries and cultures, as is the case for many educated middle-class people of Lebanon. Journalist, literary critic, and poet, Zwayn writes in the cultural pages of the leading Beirut daily newspaper, An-Nahar. Her deter- mination to be a poet, however, goes back to her early adolescence, and she is deeply preoccupied with the function and meaning of language, as she grew up in a world that had become totally incoherent. Any study of Zwayn's poetic writings should be located in the context of the harrowing experience in Lebanon during the last quarter of this century. The Lebanese were in no way prepared to face the tragic break that occured when war flared up in 1975. The war shattered the nation and had dramatic repercussions at all levels during its fifteen years. One quarter of the popu- lation was displaced in its own country, many people emigrated, the armed Palestinian Fedayis had to
Journal of Arabic Literature – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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