Articles

Egyptian writers and dialect: choices and goals towards the constyruction of a national literature (1858-1965)


Abstract


Modern Egyptian fiction arises in a moment of general transformation of the society. Arguably, it contributes to the construction of a national consciousness and experiments innovative forms and modes of expression. In the first half of the 20th century the writers of the Modern School make innovative linguistic choices to represent truth, a purpose inspiring also the Social Realism of the 50s. A remarkable role is given to the realistic characterization of dialogue and narrative discourse through the adoption of the Egyptian vernacular as a literary language. Narrators who have entered the literary canon and others face diglossia and finalize their realistic aims by reproducing in their works the composite and unstable reality of orality. The present paper addresses the linguistic choices of some modern Egyptian writers, trying to explain their purposes and methods in relation to the observation of reality, to its representation, and to the ideologies current in their time.

Keywords

Modern Egyptian fiction; Egyptian vernacular; literary canon; diglossia;

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13135/1825-263X/1673

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