Space and time in the novels of ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān Munīf
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In his writings, ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān Munīf introduces the reader right into the middle of the Arab desert, which he portrays with passion and mastery, and he is lavish in giving us the expressive pictures of everyday toil and few joys of the life in the desert. In his prose, the desert with its inertia which it owes to the primeval nature, opposes-and succumbs-to the town boiling over with joy, which is expanding faster and faster regardless of the obstacles and victims. The two types of space seem to make up a sort of a complementary entity; the desert nature is opposed to the urban culture, thanks to which the world presented in Munīf’s novels makes an impression of being full and complete. This has a definite peculiarity: the characters find it difficult to survive both in the endless desert areas and in the labyrinths of the towns; in both cases they get along better or worse, which gives rise to the stories and plots of the particular novels.