Egypt's Culture Wars: Politics and Practice (Routledge by Samia Mehrez

By Samia Mehrez

This ground-breaking paintings offers unique learn on cultural politics and battles in Egypt on the flip of the 21st century. It deconstructs the limits among ‘high’ and ‘low’ tradition drawing on conceptual instruments in cultural reports, translation reviews and gender reports to investigate debates within the fields of literature, cinema, mass media and the plastic arts. Anchored within the Egyptian old and social contexts and encouraged by means of the influential paintings of Pierre Bourdieu, it conscientiously locations those debates and battles in the greater framework of a collection of questions about the connection among the cultural and political fields in Egypt.

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Additional info for Egypt's Culture Wars: Politics and Practice (Routledge Advances in Middle East and Islamic Studies)

Sample text

This has triggered an enormous amount of surprise and disbelief in the literary and cultural milieux given the alleged accusation against a writer of Sonallah Ibrahim’s stature. 30 But the question remains, who is Fathi Fadl? Fathi Fadl (owner of a print-shop) was the third party sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment in December 1991, along with Alaa Hamid (a virtually unknown writer and author of a novel deemed “blasphemous” by Al-Azhar) and Madbuli (Cairo’s most renowned bookstore owner). All three did not serve the eight year sentence since, after massive protest by Egypt’s intellectuals, the Presidential decree that would have put the sentence into effect was never signed.

The economy of praxis in the literary field is based on the inversion of the fundamental principles of the economic world. e. economic or political profit. 11 Through its discourse on Ibrahim and its representation of other players in the field, the editorial maps out the relationships of production within the literary field in Egypt, the conflicting and contradictory positions within it, its contamination by various agents from the field of power (both political and economic) while developing, through its very representation of Ibrahim himself, a vision of the ideal literary field, the ideal internal norms and values that should govern it, and its ideal relationship with the field of power.

He seeks no material gain, an ascetic who contents himself with a minimal level of subsistence; he lives in a small apartment in Heliopolis on the sixth floor (and may I add with no elevator); he has renounced any form of material occupation or job; he lives in isolation not seeking the spotlights, connections etc. that may enhance his position, all this for the sake of “persistence” (at the level of creative production) and “dedication to literature”. In the economic world Sonallah Ibrahim is certainly a loser, but within the literary field, Bourdieu would argue, “he who loses wins”.

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