April 28, 2024

Narratives of cities.. Between the Novel, Cinema, and Nobel Lectures

Narratives of cities in novel and cinema

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The book “Narratives of cities in novel and cinema” by the Saudi critic and academic Saad  was published by  arab scientific publishers, inc in its first edition in 2009. The book consists of a collection of articles written by Al-Bazie on the novel and cinema, in addition to a few speeches by Nobel Prize winners in literature. Therefore, the book is divided into three sections: the first section is dedicated to narration and is the largest section of the book, containing 15 articles. The second section focuses on cinema and is smaller in size, containing seven articles. The third section is dedicated to the speeches of Nobel Prize winners and includes three speeches.

Al-Bazie attempts to encapsulate the theme of his collection of articles by choosing the title “Narratives of cities in novel and cinema” and to some extent, he succeeds. This title aligns the emergence and evolution of narrative and cinema with the emergence and evolution of cities and urban life in the modern and post-modern eras. However, in reality, these articles address a variety of issues. Although these articles may not be strictly academic in the conventional sense, we can argue that the author employs cultural criticism to foster openness to other cultures and to expose American practices.

In the first section dedicated to narrative, Al-Bazie explores a variety of issues through the lens of the relationship between narrative and the city. He examines the evolution of the Saudi literary scene, particularly its transition from poetry and short stories to prose poetry and then to the novel. Through his analysis, Al-Bazie traces this journey from the desert, symbolizing traditional poetry and heritage, to the city, representing narrative and modernity. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states have undergone three stages in reaching narrative: the moment of activation/short story, the moment of prose poetry, and the moment of the novel.

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