Subjectivity, agency, and the question of gender in Fadwa Tuqan’s post-naksa poetry

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Abstract

After the naksa, Palestinian poet Fadwa Tuqan composed her famous “I Shall Not Weep,” which she later included in her first resistance-themed collection: The Night and Knights. In this poem, Tuqan openly proclaims her intention to enter the male-dominated political arena and join the Palestinian poets of resistance. However, Tuqan's turn toward the nationalist cause did not come without a struggle. She had, for long, resisted this move as a performative denunciation of women's paradoxical location within the nationalist symbolic order. Focusing on The Night and Knights, this article traces the poetic representations of Tuqan's emerging attachment to the collective and investigates the meanings of her engagement with Palestinian nationalist discourse. I argue that while the construal of the gendered self in the collection illuminates the generative power that the Palestinian experience holds, it also reveals how Tuqan's location within various systems of power informs her strategies of representation and resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-194
Number of pages21
JournalMiddle Eastern Literatures
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Literature and Literary Theory

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