Problems of Cultural Criticism

Problems of Cultural Criticism

Publishing House: Arab Cultural Center

Publication Year: 2023

Genre: Criticism

Number of Pages: 144

The book “Problems of Cultural Criticism: Questions in Theory and Application” by the Saudi critic Abdullah Al-Ghathami is an attempt to respond to all the challenges that researchers and scholars have faced regarding cultural criticism over the past quarter-century. It serves as a clarification, correction, and deepening of Al-Ghathami’s approach to cultural criticism both theoretically and practically.

Furthermore, this book serves as a supplement or detailed explanation of his previous work, “Cultural Criticism: A Theoretical Introduction and Reading in Arab Cultural Patterns.” Despite a quarter-century since the publication of his book on cultural criticism, it continues to stimulate inquiries in every gathering it attends. The questions were particularly active during the COVID-19 years, where virtual discussions proliferated. Seventeen dialogues from various universities worldwide revealed the complexities surrounding several concepts of cultural criticism and raised additional questions related to these concepts.

This prompted the critic Abdullah Al-Ghathami to write his book “Problems in Cultural Criticism: Questions in Theory and Application,” which consists of six main chapters: Problems in Cultural Criticism, Rationalization (the logic of displacement and substitution), Cultural/Tactical Negotiation, Exploration of Space (glory versus power), Lost Identities, and Physical/Mental Space.

A Review of Al-Ghathami’s ‘Problems in Cultural Criticism

In his book, Al-Ghathami elaborates on the six terms that were the real reason behind writing this book. He extends his exploration to encompass additional concepts, aiming to enrich the book, whether driven by artistic or intellectual motivations. In the introduction, he clarifies that while the primary aim of the book is to elucidate the six terms, he also chooses to delve into diverse subjects like philosophy and the analysis of the rhetorical structure found in pre-Islamic poetry by Imru’ al-Qais and Tarafa ibn al-Abd.

He also extensively elaborates on the concepts of rationalization and philosophy and discusses ideas such as glory, power, plot, harmful knowledge, freedom, advocacy, and sports. Throughout this, he attempts to expand the concept of cultural criticism, seemingly aiming to convey a message that his theory, called cultural criticism, can be applied to various life domains, including the gravity of the earth.

In “Problems in Cultural Criticism: Questions in Theory and Application,” Al-Ghathami continues to expand on the concepts of cultural criticism and apply them to broader areas such as Lost Identities, Harmful Justice, and Abducted Identity. He also applies the concept of cultural criticism to the idea of mental and physical space as understood by Ibn Sina and Al-Ghazali, analyzing these concepts according to the views of Arab philosophers.

Read More About Abdullah Al-Ghathami

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