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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 17, 2018

Passion and Narration in the Contemporary Arab Novel

Modeling and Passionate Devices in al-Hayy al-Latini by Suhayl Idris

Benghenissa Nacer eddine and Benghenissa Imène
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies


In this article, we propose to explore an aspect of semiotics that has been slow to emerge as a central issue in narrative semiotics. A substantive debate has recently begun today on the achievements and prospects of Greimas’ semiotics of inspiration. Without claiming to have a theoretical range, this article proposes to cast a semiotic light on one of these questions to show the transition from passion to modal. For instance, it demonstrates that the “terror” that is the subject of our analysis can be translated as an additional state between “wanting” and “not-able-to-not-do,” going beyond “the competence to do,” as related by its dictionary definition, to defining other states of passion as a “disposition” or a “feeling that leads to.” What occurs when this passionate state is embedded into a definite narrative? To approach this practical aspect of the question, we have chosen the contemporary Arab novel al-Hayy al-Latini (Latin Quarter) by Suhayl Idris, focusing on a sequence entitled “manipulation and terror.”


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Published Online: 2018-02-17
Published in Print: 2018-02-23

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston