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Silencing the Sea


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About the Author

Khaled Furani is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Tel-Aviv University.


"A provocative, innovative interdisciplinary inquiry into the relevance of both poetry and Palestine, this is a book for those pursuing Middle East studies, anthropology, and comparative literature ... Highly recommended." - B. Harlow, CHOICE "This is a wonderful ethnography of contemporary Arabic poetry. Khaled Furani has made a significant contribution to a relatively neglected territory in the study of the secular. Silencing the Sea enlarges our understanding of the way modern pressures and seductions have led to the undermining of older sensibilities and the formation of new, and of how this process is reflected in Arabic poetry. This not simply a book for literary specialists, but for anyone interested in thinking about the different dimensions of secular experience." - Talal Asad, City University of New York "Silencing the Sea is good news: It ironically speaks of the redemptive power of the human word, as fractured as it can be, as opposed to the Divine word's overwhelming power. It engages the battle for secularism that Arab poets, in particular, are leading, as it is for them, and their societies, an existential and crucial issue. Furani follows their meandering poems, and thoughts, through strengths and imperfections, while answering implicitly Holderlin's famous question: 'What are poets for in these destitute times?' by seemingly saying that by changing themselves these poets do change the world, at least by making chinks in the wall." - Etel Adnan, author of Master of the Eclipse and Sitt Marie Rose "Furani's illuminating conversations with contemporary Palestinian poets connect us to their differing understandings of their art and its changing forms. He locates these expressive choices in an analysis of secular currents and with respect to the predicaments of Arab life in Israel and under occupation." - Brinkley Messick, Columbia University "Khaled Furani's detailed and scholarly study takes us to the unattainable heart of poetry, whatever its category, out of which comes magical beauty." - Maryse Conde, Columbia University, author of Segu and Victoire: My Mother's Mother

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