The Secret Life of Saeed: the Pessoptimist
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The Secret Life of Saeed: the Pessoptimist
The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist
AuthorEmile Habibi
TranslatorTrevor LeGassick and Salma Khadra Jayyusi
LanguageArabic
GenreSatire
Media typeBook

The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist (Arabic: ? ? ? ‎) is a 1974 satirical fiction book by Emile Habibi.[1] It addressed the issue of lack of creativity in Arabic literature at the time by being satirical. [2]

The name comes merging the Arabic words for pessimist (al-mutasha'im ) and optimist (al-mutafa'il ).[3]

Narrative

Habibi used a comic mode to mitigate the intensity of his world in Israel and to make the story easier for readers to understand which would have been difficult to through a normal historical narrative.[3] Habiby shows his resistance against the Israeli policies of oppression with Arabic literary expressions and traditions.[4]

Plot

The story begins with a fool named Saeed who is visited by people from outer space who tells of his life in Israel through a letter. He wishes to cooperate with the Israelis. However, he goes to prison multiple times and is assaulted by the guards.

Reception

The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist has caused the reaction of literary criticism by many scholars.[3] Nancy Coffin says the success of The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist "lies in its ability to straddle the expectations of both acceptable politics and good literature and, perhaps even more important, the fine lines between military response and political solution."[4]

References

  1. ^ ? ? (in Arabic).
  2. ^ Boullata, Issa; Abdel-Malek, Kamal; Hallaq, Wael. "Tradition, Modernity, and Postmodernity in Arabic Literature". Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. ^ a b c Saloul, Ihab (2008). ""Performative Narrativity": Palestinian Identity and the Performance of Catastrophe". Cultural Analysis. 7.
  4. ^ a b Ouyang, Wen-Chin (2012). Poetics of Love in the Arabic Novel: Nation-State, Modernity and Tradition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 98.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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