Revolutionary eschatology: Islam & the end of time in al-Tāhir Wattār's al-Zilzāl

Hoda El Shakry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper analyzes the use of Quranic rhetoric and imagery in al-Tāhir Wattār's 1974 novel al-Zilzāl (The Earthquake). More specifically, it emphasizes Wattār's employment of Quranic eschatology to blur the boundary between 'religious' and 'secular' forms of discourse in the construction of Algerian nationalist discourse. The paper investigates al-Zilzāl's critical engagement with the rhetoric of Arabism and Islamism in post-revolutionary state politics, highlighting the novel's hybrid genre, its conscious manipulation of narrative time and space, as well as its incorporation of various registers of the Arabic language. Through the mobilization of eschatological notions of struggle, death and sacrifice, al-Zilzāl unsettles a number of authorized narratives on Algerian national identity, language and literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-147
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Arabic Literature
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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