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Transmodern War Contexts in English Literature
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Societies 2018, 8(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc8030079

Iraq Wars from the other Side: Transmodern Reconciliation in Sinan Antoon’s The Corpse Washer

Facultad de Ciencias Humanas y de la Educación, Department of English and German Philology, University of Zaragoza, Huesca, 22003, Spain
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 9 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Representations of Transmodern War Contexts in English Literature)
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Abstract

In the last years, more and more literary accounts of recent and current wars in the Middle East have been published. In most cases, they are authored from a Western viewpoint and provide a narrow account of the Muslim world. This article focuses on Sinan Antoon’s The Corpse Washer because it opens the scope. That is, it constitutes an alternative to the imagery of the American film industry. Moreover, as Antoon is a Christian, his account of contemporary Iraq is particularly peripheral and hybrid. To analyse the novel, this article makes use of Transmodernity, a concept coined by Rosa María Rodríguez Magda in 1989. Yet, instead of Magda’s Transmodernity as a neatly Euro-centric phenomenon of worldwide connectivity, Ziauddin Sardar’s version of the concept is preferred. Sardar’s Transmodernity adds to connectivity a message of reconciliation between progress and tradition, particularly in the context of non-Western cultures. This paper defends that Antoon’s novel opens the debate on Islam to challenge the prejudiced Western discourses that have ‘legitimized’ war. To do so, Sardar’s ‘borders’ and Judith Butler’s grievability are particularly useful. In a Transmodern context, novels like Antoon’s show that humans should never be bare lives. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sinan Antoon; The Corpse Washer; Transmodernity; unthought; borders; grievability; violence Sinan Antoon; The Corpse Washer; Transmodernity; unthought; borders; grievability; violence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Yebra, J.M. Iraq Wars from the other Side: Transmodern Reconciliation in Sinan Antoon’s The Corpse Washer. Societies 2018, 8, 79.

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