Libmonster ID: UK-1215


Doctor of Philological Sciences


Candidate of Philological Sciences

The literature of the countries of the Arabian Peninsula is an organic part of modern Arabic literature, represented by writers from almost two dozen Arab countries. It is no exaggeration to say that the literature of these countries experienced a real revolution in the XX century, breaking down the forms and canons that had been established for centuries. Due to the religious and ethnic unity of Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, the common culture, national traditions, and the nature of the social changes taking place in them, one can note the relative uniformity in the development of the literatures of these Arab States, which have reached artistic maturity in just the last few decades.

Since the mid-50s of the last century, due to the growth of oil production, these countries have experienced a powerful economic recovery. The processes of "Westernization", which affected many features of national identity, intensified. The traditional way of life was changing, and the lifestyle was dictated by domestic and industrial innovations, as well as powerful migration flows from various regions of the world.

The formation of literature in these countries was influenced by the centuries-old Arab literary tradition, the literature of other Arab countries, primarily Egypt, Iraq and Syria, and, of course, the increasingly active penetration of Western culture in the region. However, the prose of small forms in the Gulf countries is formed in a different cultural situation than in other Arab countries, and in the course of its formation, it turns primarily not to adapting European models, as was often typical of the literature of many Arab countries, but mainly to mastering the experience of the Arab story itself and its further development. A significant role in the development of prose in the countries of the Persian Gulf region was played by the periodical press, on the pages of which most of the works of this genre were published.

Naturally, the origin and development of the genre of fiction in the countries of the region was uneven. The first Kuwaiti novel was published in the magazine "Al-Kuwait" (founded in 1928) in 1929, in Saudi Arabia-in 1930, in Bahrain the first publications appeared in 1939, in the United Arab Emirates-only in the early 1970s, and in Qatar-in the late 1970s.x. The emerging genre reflected the attitude of contemporaries to both old and completely new problems that had not previously been covered. In their works, writers expressed their dissatisfaction with the ruling regimes, condemnation of armed conflicts, social inequality, moral and ethical values of the West, outdated domestic and religious traditions in various ways. As before, the most popular topics were love and family relations, the position of women in Muslim society.

Before the Gulf states gained independence, the most prominent prose writers were grouped around the region's first periodical, Al - Kuwait magazine. However, in 1956 the magazine was closed, as well as most periodicals that published works of fiction. Apparently, the ruling regime saw in the literature one of the potential sources of dangerous social changes for itself. Nevertheless, it can be argued with good reason that it was Kuwaiti writers who played an avant-garde role in the development of literature in the Gulf countries.

In the subsequent period, prose, especially short stories, of the Gulf countries developed, gaining its own face, which was facilitated by the resumption and appearance of new periodicals, social and literary clubs, and amateur theaters. It should be noted that the stories of those years were characterized by a primitive presentation, short stories in general were drawn to realism, were aimed at criticizing society and called for its reform.

As already noted, until the early 1950s, Kuwait's fiction appeared mainly on the pages of periodicals. The author of the first Kuwaiti story "Munira", published in the magazine" Al-Kuwait "in 1929, the" poet of the whole Gulf " Khaled al-Faraj (1898 - 1954) was one of the first to raise in his works a number of the most serious problems for his time. He shows how new relationships between people are being formed under the influence of socio-economic transformations, exposes hypocrisy, hypocrisy, opposes violence, and, touching on issues of family relations, asserts that happiness in a family is possible only on the basis of spiritual and civil equality of spouses. It should be noted that the work of the vast majority of prose writers of Kuwait is characterized by a clearly marked-

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There is a strong tendency to view life conflicts in a social context. The name of Khaled al-Faraj and the activities of the magazine "Al-Kuwait" are associated with the first stage in the development of Kuwaiti fiction.

The discovery of huge oil reserves gave a new impetus to the whole life of Kuwait, as well as other countries of the Persian Gulf. But "black gold", along with fabulous incomes, brought new concerns. Writers of Kuwait, each in his own way, responded to the changes in society, they reflected on the fate of man in a proprietary world, reflected on changes in the traditional way of life, compared traditions and progressive innovations that appeared not without the influence of literature and culture of Western countries.

The expanding range of social problems and the development of Arabic literature itself required the search for new principles of artistic solution of the story. So, the first task that Fahd al-Duweiri (1921 - 1999) set in his work was to convey a sense of life's truth. With his work, he seemed to break down the barrier between reality and fiction. Al-Duweyri still had a taste for realism in its original sense, but it is characterized by a whole set of stylistic techniques, ideological accentuation. He responded to events that stirred up the public of all Arab countries. And like many in the Arab world, he was particularly concerned about the fate of the Arab people of Palestine.

Al-Duwayri gave a special impetus to the development of Kuwaiti short stories. It is customary to associate the second stage of literary development with his work in Kuwaiti literary studies.

Al-Duwayri's creative ideas were accepted by many prose writers, who were inclined not only to show the social conditions of their characters ' lives, but also to promote the ideas of social transformation. This is typical, in particular, for such prose writers as Abd al-Aziz Hussein (1920-1996), Suleiman al-Shaty (b. 1941), Suleiman al-Khuleifi (b. 1942), and others. Their names are associated with the third stage of the development of Kuwaiti literature. They told about the life of ordinary people during the years of foreign rule, about the struggle for independence, wrote about how Bedouins moved to a sedentary lifestyle, how street vendors and fellahs learned the basics of the struggle for a happy life, how new social relations were formed with the discovery of oil in the country.

Most of the Kuwaiti writers of this period are characterized by a somewhat one-dimensional manner of narration, but they managed to convey to the readers with a high degree of immediacy the most subtle nuances of complex social relations in society, to show that the world is vast, that the struggle for a better future is being waged everywhere and requires joint action by all the progressive forces of humanity.

Thus, al-Khuleifi, who spent several years in Moscow studying at the State Institute of Theater Arts (GITIS), believed that the indifferent, indifferent assimilation of literature by a reader who perceives it superficially, will not awaken his emotional heat and, therefore, will not have the proper effect on him. Therefore, al-Khuleifi preferred to influence the reader by indirect means, including omissions, omissions, which encouraged the reader to delve into the meaning and get to the essence of what the writer said. He is concerned with the problems of morality, the relationship between men and women, their equality, and social justice. The writer carefully researched this or that phenomenon, immersion in details is the main quality of al-Khuleifi's poetics. Another feature of his style is the rejection of linear narration, a consistent presentation of events.

Ismail Fahd Ismail (born in 1940), who has a reputation for being the most prolific Kuwaiti author, can easily compete with al-Khuleifi in terms of the variety of stylistic techniques, artistic skill and philosophical understanding of reality. From 1965 to 2000 Ismail has published 27 books. And today it is full of creative plans. Raising in his works the problems of the moral principle, the spiritual development of the individual living in a historically specific period, he put his hero before the need to choose between good and evil for the benefit of the individual and society. A prominent place in the work of Ismail Fahd Ismail is occupied by stories on a marine theme - realistic and fantastic. They combine elements of folklore, medieval didactics, beliefs and religious rites.

In their works, Kuwaiti writers reflect the issues that concern the Kuwaiti public. Being in some part quite traditional for Arabic literature-family relations, women's equality, in another part they represent a certain novelty-the fate of children in the world of consumerism, a man in war, loneliness in immigration. Delving into the internal contradiction on which the Kuwaiti story is based, the "theme", we begin to understand the attitude of a certain social stratum to reality, the angle of its view of the world.

Writers of Kuwait respond to the events taking place on our planet, both epochal and, at first glance, less significant, reflect on the fate of man in this rapidly changing world. Many prose writers also work in the genre of poetry. The modern poetry of Kuwait includes traditional, shameful direction, the so-called folk, created in the local dialect, and free verse. The country is also developing its own school of literary criticism, criticism and journalism.

Since 1958 (according to other sources, since November 1964), there has been a Writers ' League in Kuwait, which unites many active poets, novelists, playwrights and critics. From April

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1966. The League publishes the monthly magazine "Al-Bayan", which publishes works not only by Kuwaiti authors, but also by writers and poets from other Arab countries, translations of works by foreign authors, including Russian ones.

The young generation of Kuwaiti writers born after independence (1961) is also represented by a number of names known outside the country: Walid al-Rujayb (b. 1954), Muhammad al-Ajmi (b. 1956), Hamid al-Hamad (b. 1954), Abdelwahhab al-Sayyid (b. 1973) - He was one of the first writers in Kuwait and the Gulf to turn to the paranormal, science fiction and thrillers. Among the women writers of the new generation, we can mention Muna al-Shafi, Fatima Yousef al-Ali, and Fawziyah Shuweish al-Salem.

Modern Kuwaiti prose is unthinkable without the works of women writers. Leila Osman (b. 1943) is rightly considered the leader of modern Kuwaiti short stories (her first stories appeared in the mid-60s). Unlike the above-mentioned authors, the Russian reader had the opportunity to get acquainted with the work of Leila Osman. Not only her short stories, but also her novels have been translated into Russian.

The writer is best known for her collections of short stories " The Woman in the Vessel "(1976), " Departure "(1979), "Eyes Meet at Night" (1980), "Whisper", " Love has its Own Pictures "(1982)," If you Love, you go Crazy "(1989),"Dark Barriers "(1996), "Days of Patience and Bitterness" (2003). Her broad social outlook helped her to discover in detail many features of Kuwaiti society as a part of the Arab East. It draws on the past in order to identify the roots of the consciousness that caused the behavior of an individual or the action of an entire social stratum. The romantic aspirations of her heroines are explained by the natural impulses of the female soul to the sublime. The subject matter of Osman's stories goes beyond the boundaries of particulars to universal problems and values.

Leyla Osman has written several novels. These are "The Woman and the Cat" (1985), "The Return of Wasmia ("Wasmia coming out of the Sea") "(1986)," Fathiya chooses death " (1987).

In The Return of Wasmia, Leila Osman tells a seemingly ordinary love story between a young man and a girl. However, this is not the case at all. The conditions in which Wasmia, a girl from a rich and noble family, and Abdallah, the son of a day laborer Maryum, live lead to an unexpected denouement.

The narrative, filled with the aromas of the sea, everyday marine life, draws pictures of the life of the old urban area in Kuwait City, describes its customs and traditions. Starting at the sea, this tragic love story of young heroes always brings the reader back to him and ends in the open sea, when Wasmia in the form of a mermaid again appears before Abdallah and no longer limited in her power fulfills the long-standing dream of a fisherman, taking him into her arms.

Suraya al-Baksami (b. 1952) is a Kuwaiti writer and artist. She was educated at the Institute of Fine Arts in Cairo, as well as at the Surikov Moscow State Art Institute. As a writer and illustrator, she has published several collections of short stories - "Black Sweat" (1977), "Al-Sidra" (1988), "Candles of the Dungeon" (1992), a number of nonfiction works, and several children's books. Winner of numerous awards for merits in creative activity. In 1993, the Kuwait Society for Scientific Progress awarded her short story collection Candles of the Dungeon the first prize in literature.

The collection is dedicated to events related to the period of the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. The stories included in the collection are somewhat autobiographical. For example, the story "Thirst for Abu Sahir", which is set in one of the Iraqi concentration camps in northern Basra. Suraya al-Baksami's husband, Muhammad, was one of 10,000 Kuwaitis who ended up in concentration camps in Iraq. But he was lucky. He returned home to his wife and children, who, like the heroine of the story "Candles of the Dungeon", were waiting for him in the occupied city. Suraya herself, as the hero of the story "In Love with Walls", created drawings, canvases that could be used as anti-occupation posters, and passed them on to members of the resistance movement.

Al-Baksami's stories are a description of feelings, sensations, and not a narrative that has a beginning and an end. Of course, the action is present in the stories, there is a certain development of events, but the main thing is the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of the characters. Most of the characters and heroines of the writer's stories are nameless. With such a simple writer's device, the author wants to say that what happened or is happening to one person is a common tragedy of the entire nation, and no matter what the name of these people is, everyone has the same feelings.

The writer's style is light, transparent, not burdened with heavy turns, not overloaded with unnecessary details, but at the same time not at all primitive. What Suraya al-Baksami writes about may well be understandable to Russian readers, both the older generation, who went through the horrors of the Great Patriotic War, fascist concentration camps, and former resistance fighters, and the current generation of Russians, who were not only witnesses, but also often participants in the events that took place in the post-Soviet space at the turn of the millennium.

Below we publish three short stories from Suraya al-Baksami's collection "Candles of the Dungeon", two short stories by Leila Osman and an excerpt from her novel "The Return of Wasmia".


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