Language, Voice, and the Poetics of Trauma in Modern Levantine Literatures A Yiddish-Arabic Dialogue Victoria Biggs Defining Trauma, Defining âLevantinismâ As a geographical and cultural region, the Levant has been fractured by intense political violence, with the result that its literature is rich with themes of loss and dislocation. These ethno-national, political, and religious fractures and attendant literary themes have frequently been examined through a postcolonial lens, with scholars rejecting the imposition of regional categories on literature (i.e., âMiddle Eastern literatureâ or âCommonwealth writingâ) as a perpetuation of Eurocentric attitudes and colonial rule that saw territory being carved up and parceled out among the European powers.1 Postcolonial theory has been instrumental in sketching out alternative literary geographies through its acute sensitivity to language, which is âcentral to the colonial and postcolonial experience.Â .Â .Â . Language became an instrument of control and command, and anticolonial resistance therefore necessarily included as one of its dimensions resistance to the colonizerâs language.â2 However, despite this sensitivity to language, postcolonial terminology in itself is unable to fully convey the cumulative impact of war, population displacement, and military occupation on cultural and artistic life. As Ammiel Alcalay writes, âTo speak of a âpostcolonial
Journal of Literature and Trauma Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Sep 13, 2016
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