Following the Pipeline: Petro-phantoms in Fāḍil al-ʿAzzāwī’s Ākhir al-malāʾikah (1992, The Last of the Angels, 2007) and Imīl Ḥabībī’s Sarāyā, bint al-ghūl (1991, Saraya, the Ogre’s Daughter, 2006)

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Olszok, Charis 

Contributing to the fields of eco- and petro-criticism, this article argues for significant connections in the Arabic novel between fantastical and uncanny aesthetics, on the one hand, and ecological awareness and energy anxiety on the other. Moving from nation-based comparisons, in recognition of how energy ecologies similarly traverse sovereign borders, it does so through Iraqi author Fāḍil al-ʿAzzāwī’s Ākhir al-malāʾikah (1992) and the Palestinian Imīl Ḥabībī’s Sarāyā, bint al-ghūl (1991). Set at either end of the Kirkuk-Haifa oil pipeline, in their authors’ home cities, these novels were completed within a few weeks of one another, during the first months of the petroleum-fuelled driven First Gulf War (1990-1991), to which they allude. Through phantoms, jinn, angels, and zombies, they dramatize the emotional, environmental, and social disturbances of petromodernity.

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Journal of Arabic Literature
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Brill Academic Publishers
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