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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dreams and identity in the novels of Nuruddin Farah
Author:Bardolph, JacquelineISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Somalia
About person:Nuruddin Farah (1945-)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3820538
Abstract:The Somali writer Nuruddin Farah has written seven novels so far. With the exception of 'A naked needle' (1976), dreams take a prominent place in his novels. The many and varied mentions of dreams are meant to be the representation of a certain cultural reality. Farah represents a certain African society (Somalia) where men and women take it for granted that dreams are an important part of life. His characters are modern and also shaped by several world views; what they have in common is the importance they give to visions and possible omens. But beyond the role they play in giving depth and verisimilitude to a wide range of characters, dreams fulfil another function in the structure and narrative strategy of the novels. The chapters in Farah's books are organized by the cycle of day and night. Sometimes the internal focus on the mind of a character is a mimetic rendering of states halfway between wakefulness and sleep. The dream is not opposed to reality but in the mental world represented in Farah's stories, it is the key experience that can help to construct meaning and give shape to the essential reality - or paradoxically, the only reality of the fiction. Bibliogr., note, ref.