“I Can Do Nothing against the Wish of the Pen” : Studies in the Short Stories of Widād Sakākīnī
Sammanfattning: This study focuses on the short story writing of the Lebanese/Syrian writer Widād Sakākīnī (1913-1991). Its primary aim is to discover how she was able to establish herself as a respected writer while keeping her distinctive character as a woman writer within a literary tradition that was strongly defined by patriarchal values and contained many misogynic elements. An additional aim of the study is to present Widād Sakākīnī’s life and milieu alongside her works.The study is based on the assumption that the fact that Widād Sakākīnī was a woman, that is, a representative of a normally silenced community, working within a literary tradition dominated by men, influenced both the form and the content of her writing. Theoretically the study has been influenced by Sandra Gilbert’s and Susan Gubar’s way of considering texts by early women writers as palimpsests; under the conventional and socially accepted surface deeper and less socially accepted levels of meaning can be found. With the help of structuralist theories (A.J. Greimas’ model for interpreting the narrative plot as interpreted by Pil Dahlerup, Irene Engelstad and Irene Iversen and used by them for studying texts written by women writers and Susan Sniader Lanser’s theories about women writers’ use of the narrative voice) as well as poststructuralist theories about intertextuality (Genette and Culler) the study has identified various literary strategies used by Widād Sakākīnī to conform to the dominant male discourse within which she was working while preserving her own identity as a woman writer. The study shows that she skillfully managed to create new, and sometimes, subversive meanings to traditional themes and motifs used in her texts.
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