AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number 1. February   2021                                Pp.3-19
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no1.1

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Democratizing the Dramatic Text: Wannous’s Late Aesthetics and Individual Freedom  

Samar Zahrawi
Department of World Languages and Cultures
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Sam Houston State University, TX, USA.
Email: szahrawi@shsu.edu

 

Received:1/4/2021               Accepted: 2/9/2021                Published:  2/24/2021

 

Abstract:
Sadallah Wannous (1941-1997), the Arab World’s most celebrated dramatist, gave up on the didactic art of the ‘theater of politicization’, in the middle of his career, in favor of a freer introspection of human psyche and passions. He spent his most prolific late years searching for new aesthetics and promoting a culture of free thinking. Abandoning his prior commitment to achieving the modern state, Arabic unity, the liberation of Palestine and the triumph of communism, he started creating individuals who are caught up in conflicting passions, loyalties and choices. However, his new themes will still betray a will to reform the many ailments in Arabic culture and politics, such as politico-religious coalitions and colonialism. This article will study the artistic and ideological transformation in Wannous’s later drama. It will also explore the later pro-democracy trends through analyzing the emerging individualism in characterization and the plurality of discourses in the plays of the later period 1989-1997, namely The Rape (1989), Historical Miniatures (1993), Miserable Dreams (1994), Rituals of Signs and Transformations (1994), and Drunken Days (1997).
Keywords: democratization of the dramatic text, intellectual freedom in Syrian drama, late plays of Sadallah Wannous, plurality of voices in theater, Sadallah Wannous, Syrian theater, Syrian drama

Cite as: Zahrawi, S. (2021). Democratizing the Dramatic Text: Wannous’s Late Aesthetics and Individual Freedom. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (1) 3-19.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no1.1

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Received: 1/4/2021
Accepted: 2/9/2021
Published: 2/24/2021
http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no1.1
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Samar Zahrawi received her PhD from the University of Leeds, U.K. in Modern Drama in 1992. She taught modern drama at Al-Baath University, Syria, and King Saud University, KSA. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Sam Houston State University, Texas, USA. Having a background in English and comparative drama, her current research interest is Arabic drama, Arabic culture, and translation studies.
ORCid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6897-523X