The Arabic Adventures of Télémaque: Trajectory of a Global Enlightenment Text in the Nahḍah

Hill, Peter (2018) The Arabic Adventures of Télémaque: Trajectory of a Global Enlightenment Text in the Nahḍah. Journal of Arabic Literature, 49 (3). pp. 171-203. ISSN 0085-2376

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570064x-12341367

Abstract

The Marquis de Fénelon's internationally popular didactic narrative, Les aventures de Télémaque, went through a remarkable number of metamorphoses in the Nahḍah, the Arab world's cultural revival movement of the long nineteenth century. This article examines two early manuscript translations by Syrian Christian writers in the 1810s, the rhymed prose version by Rifāʿah Rāfiʿ al-Ṭahṭāwī in the 1860s; its rewriting by Shāhīn ʿAṭiyyah in 1885; and Saʿdallāh al-Bustānī's musical drama of 1869, the basis for performances later in the century by the famous actor Salāmah Ḥijāzī. Placing Télémaque's Arabic trajectory within its global vogue in the Enlightenment suggests ways of reading the Nahḍah between theories of world literature and 'transnational mass-texts', and more specific local histories of translation and literary adaptation. The ambiguity of Télémaque, its hybrid and transitional form,was important to its success in milieux facing analogous kinds of hybridity and transition—among them those of the Arab Nahḍah.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adaptation, Arab theater, Beirut, Cairo, Enlightenment, Fenelon, Nahdah, Translation, World literature
Subjects: Q200 Comparative Literary studies
V100 History by period
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 16:25
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 15:01
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/40824

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