Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 February 2021
The aesthetics of the self as inextricably linked to an unruly affective economy are explored in Chapter 5 with respect to Mustafa Sa’eed, the protagonist of Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North. I also highlight the novel’s subtle intertextual arrangements and literary echoes which are part of a larger symphony of mirrorings that form a recurrent principle ramifying at different levels of the text. I track the various references to Othello, Heart of Darkness, A Thousand and One Nights, and texts of the Arab Nahda (renaissance) that are widely interspersed throughout the novel. Finally, I examine Mustafa Sa’eed’s motivation toward self-authorship and the ability to fashion his own identity autonomously and in complete control both of its contingent processes and of their final product. He does this through the deployment of exoticizing orientalist stereotypes, which are rendered completely redundant when he encounters his wife Jean Morris.
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