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By Ken Seigneurie

Because the mid-1970s, Lebanon has been on the heart of the global upward push in sectarian extremism. Its cultural output has either mediated and resisted this upward push. status by way of the Ruins studies the function of tradition in assisting sectarianism, but argues for the emergence of a particular aesthetic of resistance to it. concentrating on modern Lebanese fiction, movie, and pop culture, this ebook exhibits how artists reappropriated the dual legacies of dedication literature and the traditional topos of status via the ruinsto shape a brand new elegiac humanismduring the tumultuous interval of 1975 to 2005. It redirects cognizance to the serious function of tradition in conditioning attitudes all through society and is for this reason proper to different societies dealing with sectarian extremism.Standing through the Ruins is additionally a robust intervention within the burgeoning box of worldwide Literature. Elaborating at the nice Arabist Hilary Kilpatrick's an important perception that historic Arabic types and topoi clear out into smooth literature, the writer info how the status by means of the ruinstopos-and the constitution of feeling it conditions-has migrated through the years. glossy Arabic novels, characteristic movies, and pop culture, faraway from being easily cultural imports, are hybrid types deployed to answer the demanding situations of latest Arab society. As such, they could take their position inside of an international Literature paradigm: they're cultural items that shuttle and intrude on the planet.

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Additional resources for Standing by the Ruins: Elegiac Humanism in Wartime and Postwar Lebanon

Example text

This chapter studies their reappropriation of the ruins topos in five feature films. I argue here that ruins “speak” of repressed trauma to characters who learn to read them symptomatically. ikyit Maryam (When Maryam Spoke) uses the topos of the ruin-corpse to “speak” to the protagonist of his lost love. In each of these films, ruins communicate muselike to characters who otherwise exist in confusion or denial of traumatic history. 93 Its object of study is the cultural component of the broad, nationwide social movement that swept over Lebanon in spring 2005.

Indeed, it shares a conditioning cultural logic with sectarianism. Just as sectarian attitudes are a part of the fabric of Lebanese culture, so is the humanism that transcends the nation’s religious divisions. Yet since elegiac humanism almost by definition does not manifest itself in political parties, it remains a uniquely cultural phenomenon and a poor sister of sectarianism. Thus, if this book begins by tracing today’s upsurge in sectarianism to mid-1970s “Lebanization,” it also argues that Lebanese culture bears within itself a new humanist alternative.

The poststructuralist critique of this Enlightenment-era subject has been salutary in numerous ways, not least in exposing otherwise invisible hegemonic discourses. Yet as necessary and compelling as these critiques are, the humanism with which they take issue is arguably not humanism at all. ” I understand this to be the only strictly humanist proposition. Accordingly, most poststructuralist critiques of the Enlightenment avatar of humanism may be seen as a reform movement within the larger history of humanism.

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