Factoring Asymmetry into the Equation: On Juxtaposing Palestinian and Israeli Literatures

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This article addresses a discursive problem with the study of Palestinian literature alongside Israeli literature: by focusing on the intersections between Hebrew and Arabic literatures, scholars have created a hybrid that precludes comparison between two separate entities. This article surveys the theoretical and political drawbacks of this approach and then moves to theorize Palestinian literature outside its pairing with Israeli literature as a global multilingual literary system that is major yet non-hegemonic. I suggest that Palestinian literature can be informed by theories of world literature, on the one hand, and inform world literature about the way diasporic literature moves in the world, on the other hand. Last, I discuss the novel Tafsīl thānawī by 'Adanīyah Shiblī in order to demonstrate a possible expansion of the grounds of comparison once a work of Palestinian literature like this one is read beyond its dialogue with Israeli culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-153
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Arabic Literature
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Ella Elbaz, 2024.


  • Adanīyah Shiblī
  • Hebrew-Arabic comparisons
  • hybridity
  • minor literature
  • Palestinian literature
  • world literature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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