Beirut 1998, 237 pp. french text – 170 x 240 mm. PaperbackedISBN 978-3-89913-062-1
Mona Takieddine Amyuni received two doctoral degrees of the Sorbonne in Comparative Arabic, French and English Literatures and is an Associate Professor in the Civilization Sequence Program at the American University of Beirut. In addition to Arabic, she is also interested in French and Russian literatures.
This study is composed of five chapters seeking to analyze how different cities have been a source of inspiration, whether consciously or not, for a variety of authors and how the authors use them as representations and embodiments for history and change of time. Different cities, the most famous examples are Jerusalem or Beirut, are associated with certain characteristics or topics, such as downfall, torment, loss of beauty, or with attributions like ambivalence or seduction. Among others, the author carefully examines the relationship between the Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz and Cairo, Tayeb Salih and Khartoum and London and in the end several writers – among them Mahmud Darwish – reflect on their relationship towards Beirut. Chapter five examines how George Schehade creates a city of imagination, Paolo Scala, which offers a dreamlike life to its inhabitants.