FALL 2008 CATALOG
Alfred Farag and Egyptian Theater
The Poetics of Disguise, with Four Short Plays and a Monologue
Dina A. Amin
With a Foreword by Roger Allen
"There could hardly be a better symbol for the troubled existence of the
creative writer in the post-revolutionary Arab world . . . than Alfred Farag."
—Roger Allen, from the Foreword
As one of Egyptian theater’s leading contemporary playwrights, Alfred Farag has had a profound influence on shaping Arabic drama and Egyptian cultural politics during the past five decades. His plays interrogate the human condition, exposing the struggles of nonheroic individuals faced with political, social, and economic abuse. Farag’s dramatic themes, his tireless campaign to democratize the theater, and his encouragement of cultural awareness in the remote and rural regions of Egypt in addition to the cities led to his imprisonment, battles with censorship, and exile. This remarkable writer’s indomitable spirit is clearly evidenced in his spending a large part of his time while imprisoned writing plays for performances by his fellow prisons. In the first book-length examination of his work in English, Dina Amin chronicles Farag’s career and offers a critical perspective on his creative output and the condition of Egyptian theater in the 1970s through the 1990s.
Farag is best known for the folkloric and neorealist plays he produced
during the sixties, but critics have consistently overlooked the immense body of work produced in the thirty years that followed. Filling that gap, Amin offers an account of the sophisticated development of his later work, revealing his bold experimentation and successful embrace of modernist, absurdist, and post-modern styles. With fresh insight, Amin contextualizes these works within Farag’s own creative history and the larger history of Arabic theater. This book, with the inclusion of four plays and a monologue (translated for the first time into English), will bring a much-deserved wider audience to the work of this extraordinary
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Dina A. Amin is assistant professor of Arabic literature, culture, and theater at
Villanova University and a professional stage director in both the United States
6 x 9, 384 pages, 8 black-and-white illustrations, appendixes, notes, bibliography, index