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Rethinking Orient

In Search of Sources and Inspirations


Edited By Adam Bednarczyk, Magdalena Kubarek and Maciej Szatkowski

The contributions in this book address a vast variety of questions concerning the sources and mutual inspirations in Oriental and European literatures. The authors discuss selected texts from both historical and synchronic perspectives. They reveal and scrutinise the sedimented layers in their search for the original as well as for the repetitive and universal. The book revolves around the creative reception of one’s own cultural heritage and of works which originated in other cultures.

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Borderature: Blending Borders between English and Arabic Literature in the Writing of Arab English Women Authors (Zuzana Tabačková)


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Zuzana Tabačková

Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra Slovakia

Borderature: Blending Borders between English and Arabic Literature in the Writing of Arab English Women Authors

Abstract: The paper discusses cultural translation as reflected in the literary pursuits of Arab English women writers, with a special focus on Leila Aboulela and Ahdaf Soueif. By employing English as their writing medium, these two writers (both born in Egypt) create hybrid literary works that intermix the English and the Arabic language, the Anglophone and Arab culture as well as English and Arabic literary traditions. Moreover, the paper provides an in-depth look into the work of these two authors with the aim to highlight their role as acts of cultural translation. Since their books demonstrate the challenges of cultural translation in a literary milieau, they require a special kind of a multilingual and multicultural reader who is capable of building up the picture consisting of English and Arab pieces of Soueif and Aboulela’s borderliterature puzzles.

Key words: borderature, Leila Aboulela, Ahdaf Soueif, cultural translation

Introduction: On Maps and Translation

Language has often been thought of in terms of geography; it has been described as having a “geographical dimension”;1 as being “geographically bound”2 because language has always been tied to a certain group of people, community, or culture residing within particular spatial borderlines. The need to communicate with the world outside these borderlines brought about the need...

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