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Tradition, Translation, TraumaThe Classic and the Modern$
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Jan Parker and Timothy Mathews

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199554591

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199554591.001.0001

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Lost in Nostalgia

Lost in Nostalgia

Modernity’s Repressed Other

(p.191) 10 Lost in Nostalgia
Tradition, Translation, Trauma

Wen-chin Ouyang

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the conceptual category constructed around the figure of the cultural other in narratives of modernity, and looks at the ways in which its presence and absence are entangled in the politics of cultural construction, or reconstruction. It focuses on the work of Adonis, an avant-garde Arab poet, literary critic, and cultural architect. It argues that modernity is not merely what Adonis asserts throughout his writing as the desired state of a conveniently transformed reality, but also a narrative trope, a site of focalization where cultural change, or transformation of world-view and lifestyle, is interrogated, debated, articulated, legitimated, and perhaps even universalized. It also shows how the linear narrative of modernity may be unravelled with the introduction as a conceptual category of the figure of cultural other, which takes several forms, each according to the argument being made and position legitimated.

Keywords:   Arab poetics, Adonis, cultural other, modernity, narratives, cultural construction

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