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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Unimaginable community: the failure of Nubian nationalism in Idris Ali's 'Dongola'
Author:DiMeo, David
Year:2015
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Volume:46
Issue:1
Pages:72-89
Language:English
Geographic terms:Egypt
Sudan
Subjects:Nubians
minority groups
nationalism
novels
About person:Idris 'AliISNI
Link:https://doi.org/10.2979/reseafrilite.46.1.72
Abstract:The Egyptian Nubian author Idris Ali was a pioneer among modern writers depicting the marginal position of the Nubian community and the role of Egyptian nationalist policies in that marginalization. This article applies Benedict Anderson's theory of postcolonial nationalism, in particular, its emphasis on the role of colonial institutions in shaping the grammar of nationalism in emerging states, to Idris Ali's 'Dongola: a Nubian novel' to illustrate how the assertion of a distinctly Egyptian national identity necessarily involved the ostracism of the Nubian minority. The tragedy of the novel, however, is embodied in the semi-autobiographical protagonist's failed attempts to lead his countrymen in forging their own 'imagined community.' This article will examine the gap that renders the protagonist, an example of the twentieth-century 'protean man' identified by Robert Jay Lifton, incapable of speaking for his fellow Nubians, who remain voiceless subalterns of the type described by Gayatri Spivak. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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