Standing by the Ruins – Table of Contents


List of Figures and Plates ix
Acknowledgments xi
Note on Transliterations xv
Introduction: Shoring These Ruins against My Fragments 1
A Pioneer of the Present 2
Cultural Knock-on 5
Mythic Utopian Futures 8
Elegiac Pasts 11
Elegiac Humanism 20
A Culture in Ruins 27
1. Absence at the Heart of Yearning: Civil War and Postwar Novels 35
Ruins and Elegy in The House of Mathilde (Binayat Mathilde) 40
Decay of Elegy in The Stone of Laughter (Hajar al-Dahik) 51
Ruins Redeemed in Dear Mr Kawabata (‘Azizi al-Sayyid Kawabata) 61
Anti-Ruin in Ya Salam (Good Heavens) 71
Limits of Elegy in Berytus: Madina taht al-Ard (Berytus: City Underground) 80
Conclusion: Learning to Yearn 95
2. “Speak, Ruins!”: The Work of Nostalgia in Feature Film 96
Ruins of Conviviality in Beirut: The Meeting (Bayrut, al-Liqa’) 101
Ruin and De-education in Beyond Life (Hors la Vie) 109
Living among the Ruins in The Pink House (al-Bayt al-Zahr) 117
Recycling Ruin in In the Shadows of the City (Tayf al-Madina) 125
If These Ruins Could Speak in When Maryam Spoke (Lamma Hikyit Maryam) 131
Conclusion: Elegiac Self-Consciousness 141
3. Elegiac Humanism and Popular Politics: The Independence Uprising of 2005 144
A Grammar of Grieving 147
Recoding Mourning, Popular Culture, and Politics 151
Oratorical and Democratic Discourses 165
Sectarian to National Consciousness 172
Conclusion: Ruins of a Humanistic Resistance 175
“We’re All Hezbollah Now” 177
Appendix: A Selected Bibliography of Lebanese War Novels 185
Notes 189
Works Cited 223
Index 239