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Salīm Barakāt’s Weird Ecology

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

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Authors

Olszok, Charis 

Abstract

This article suggests a marked ecological consciousness within the Arabic novel and its experimental poetics, reading the Kurdish-Syrian author Salīm Barakāt’s debut novel, Fuqahāʾ al-ẓalām (1985; Sages of Darkness) through the lens of dark, uncanny ecology. Through its strange, disquieting occurrences, described as “warps” and “mutations,” to the human and nonhuman, the novel both critiques the ethnic displacement of the Kurdish population, and expresses unease over changing relationships to material land. This is rooted in its critique of the structuring frameworks of human thought, dismantled through unexpected syntactic shifts, uncomfortable imagery, and ever-strange plot, anchored in the weird interpenetration of human and nonhuman.

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Journal Title

Comparative Literature

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Journal ISSN

0010-4124
1945-8517

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Publisher

Duke University Press

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