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Literature in Dialect: The Great Absentee

Francesco De Angelis

Abstract


Prose production in dialect is probably the big absentee in Arabic literature textbooks. While poetry in dialect has managed to carve its own small space in textbooks on the history of Arabic literature, the same does not go for novels or short stories written in ‘āmmiyya. Most critics, especially Arabs, do not acknowledge their literary dignity. However, scholars of contemporary Arabic literature can no longer avoid seriously analysing Egyptian literature in ‘āmmiyya. In fact, in the course of the last two decades, the number of novels and short stories in Egyptian dialect has significantly increased. Furthermore, writing in dialect is increasingly widespread thanks to personal blogs and websites. In light of this emerging panorama in Arabic literature, the question is whether something is changing in relation to the acceptance of dialect as a literary language and if the time has come for literature in dialect to find its own place in literary textbooks.


Keywords


dialect and literature; Egyptian dialect; fuṣḥā and ‘āmmiyya in literature.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/lcm-2021-002-dean

Copyright (©) 2022 Francesco De Angelis – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie

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Lingue Culture Mediazioni - Languages Cultures Mediation
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Dipartimento di Lingue, Letterature, Culture e Mediazioni  
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