AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 7, Number 1. February 2023 Pp.233-242
On the Aesthetics of Humor in Contemporary Egyptian Fiction
Department of English, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences
University of Tunis, Tunisia
Faculty of Sciences and Arts of Sajer,
University of Shaqra, Saudi Arabia
Received:11/06/2022 Accepted:02/13/2023 Published 02/24/2023
Although literature and humor are two distinct areas, they complete each other. Indeed, this paper aims to examine the use of humor as a tool of resistance and subversion in contemporary Middle Eastern fiction in Egyptian novelist Hamdi Abu Golayyel’s al-Fāʿil (2008) and Luṣūṣ mutaqāʿidūn (2002). In particular, this paper strives to re-evaluate the main elements of humor such as satire, puns and quibbles. It highlights their use on thematic, stylistic and meta-narrative levels to better accentuate the experience of the characters and the re-emergence of all that has been repressed. Having adopted a structuralist approach to elucidate the intersection of humorous and subversive characteristics in the personality of abject characters, the textual analysis looks at the narratives’ strategies and the constructions of the protagonists. This study also examines how humor interacts with the stories’ main narrative threads and how it is generated by the textual structure, the characters and the deliberate use of Bedouin accent. More importantly, this study identifies the psychological and social functions of Egyptian humor asserting the need for adopting cross-cultural poetics when dealing with humor.
Keywords: Contemporary Egyptian fiction, humor, laughter, puns, satire
Cite as: Mzoughi, I. (2023). On the Aesthetics of Humor in Contemporary Egyptian Fiction. Arab World English Journal for
Translation & Literary Studies 7 (1): 233-242.
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