Transgressive Truths and Flattering Lies

The Poetics and Ethics of Anglophone Arab Representations

This book explores the formative correlations and inventive transmissions of Anglophone Arab representations ranging from early 20th century Mahjar writings to contemporary transnational Palestinian resistance art. Tracing multiple beginnings and seminal intertexts, the comparative study of dissonant truth-making presents critical readings in which the notion of cross-cultural translation gets displaced and strategic unreliability, representational opacity, or matters of act advance to essential qualities of the discussed works' aesthetic devices and ethical concerns. Questioning conventional interpretive approaches, Markus Schmitz shows what Anglophone Arab studies are and what they can become from a radically decentered relational point of view. Among the writers and artists discussed are such diverse figures as Rabih Alameddine, William Blatty, Kahlil Gibran, Ihab Hassan, Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, Emily Jacir, Walid Raad, Ameen Rihani, Edward Said, Larissa Sansour, and Raja Shehadeh.

»A constant theme in Markus Schmitz's excellent book, Transgressive Truths and Flattering Lies: The Poetics and Ethics of Anglophone Arab Representations, is the idea of movement: ›setting in motion‹, ›transmigrations‹, ›flights‹ and ›turnovers‹.  And indeed, the book itself sets in motion a mobile transnational conversation that shuttles between time-periods, between regions, between texts, and between maître à penser. Transgressive Truths and Flattering Lies masterfully combines fine-grained textual analysis with meta-theoretical concerns to better anatomize the paradoxical representation of Arab bodies and voices, at once hypervisible and silenced. The book's diasporic and interdisciplinary framework and impressive spatio-temporal scope goes hand in hand with a lively, insightful, and compelling examination of the cross-border interconnectedness of texts and cultural practices.«
(Ella Shohat, author of »Taboo Memories, Diasporic Voices«, New York University)

€40.00 * $45.00 *

7 April 2020, 300 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8376-5048-8

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Markus Schmitz

Markus Schmitz, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Deutschland

1. Why did you choose this topic?

Because of my discomfort toward dominant readings of contemporary Anglophone Arab discourse that rarely allow for the moral inconsistencies of dissonant meaning-making.

2. What new perspectives does your book offer?

It suggests alternative ways of decoding literary-artistic works that willingly risk being seen as unreliable in their own search for truth.

3. What makes your topic relevant for current research debates?

It contributes to the emancipation of postcolonial and relational diasporic criticism from the imperative of intersubjectivity, reciprocity, and harmony.

4. Choose one person you would like to discuss your book with!

Ella Shohat, whose work has decisively inspired my own project.

5. Your book summary in one sentence:

A study of cross-cultural correlation in the age of archival dissonance.

»Markus Schmitz offers a brilliant retheorization of both the poetic practices of Anglophone Arab cultural production and the potential future directions of critical practices of Anglophone Arab (literary and cultural) studies.«
Christian David Zeitz, Anglistik, 32 (2021)
Markus Schmitz
Book title
Transgressive Truths and Flattering Lies The Poetics and Ethics of Anglophone Arab Representations
transcript Verlag
kart., Klebebindung, 11 SW-Abbildungen, 34 Farbabbildungen
Commodity Group
POL045000 SOC022000 LIT004020
Release date
7 April 2020
Islam, Postkolonialismus, Literatur
Arab American Studies, Arab British Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Relational Diasporic Studies, Comparative Literature, Literary and Cultural Theory, Art History, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies
Anglophone Arab Literatures and Arts, Cross-cultural (Mis-)Translation, Critical Correlation, Strategic Lies, Culture, Islam, Literature, Cultural Studies, Postcolonialism, American Studies, Literary Studies, British Studies, Middle Eastern Studies

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