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Title:Two Plays by Tawfiq Al-Hakim in Translation, With a Critical Introduction (Arabic)
Author(s):Abu-Swailem, Abder-Rahim Elayan Moh'd
Department / Program:Theatre
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Middle Eastern
Abstract:Tawfiq Al-Hakim is a major Arabic dramatist whose career extends over a span of sixty years. Although his plays have been translated and performed in many European countries, Al-Hakim has no recognition in the English speaking theatre. Very few translations of his plays in English are available, and most tend to be rendered literally.
Two valued plays of Al-Hakim have never been translated completely in English: Ahl Al-kahf (The People of the Cave (1933)), and Pygmalion (1942). Perhaps this oversight of Al-Hakim's work will be mended now to some extent.
The dissertation is divided into two parts. Part one includes three chapters about Al-Hakim's theatre and critical introductions to the plays. Part two includes translations of the two plays.
Since Al-Hakim is not known in the English-speaking theatre, the first chapter of this dissertation divides his career as a dramatist into five stages of development. This division is by no means absolute, for all the stages overlap.
Chapter two discusses the featured the "theatre of the mind" (i.e. closet drama), and examines Al-Hakim's claims for this group of his plays. In addition, it includes a critical introduction to Ahl Al-Kahf. This chapter reviews the sources and origins which inspired Al-Hakim. It also discusses themes and techniques and, as well, Al-Hakim's claim that this play is meant to be a literary piece.
Chapter three contains a critical introduction to pygmalion. The critique traces the origins of the play and its relation to the Greek myths of Pygmalion and Narcissus. It shows Al-Hakim's reconstruction of two completely different myths to create a version of his own. In addition, this chapter contains new findings about the way that Al-Hakim dealt with two different characters.
My ultimate aim here, is to make it possible for the English speaking theatre to know two neglected plays of Al-Hakim. It is appalling that so prolific and original a dramatist is virtually unknown in most of the western theatre. Especially is this true when his work is known and respected throughout Arabic culture.
Issue Date:1987
Description:281 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8721571
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1987

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