Hosna as Bride of Desire and Revolutionary Par Excellence in Tayib Salih’s The Season of Migration to the North

ACTA PHILOLOGICA 49 (2016)
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Abstract
Most readings of Tayib Salih’s Season of Migration to the North have focused on Mustafa Saeed and the nameless narrator, both male characters, and they have largely avoided a politically radical reading of the novel. This article attempts to present the female character, Hosna, as the revolutionary par excellence, following Lacan and Slavoj Žižek’s reading of Antigone. Th rough Žižek’s distinction between the act and action, this article argues that Hosna’s deed at the end of the novel, murder and suicide, is not just an action out of hopelessness but rather an act that aims to make a new social order possible. We will try to connect Žižek’s distinction between act and action to Benjamin’s distinction between divine violence and mythic violence and Lacan’s idea of “Th ing-directed desire” (Marc De Kesel 245). By doing so, this article aims to put the extreme violence of Hosna in a new light and argues against the readings that simply ignore her act as an extreme form of violence and fail to see it in a broader framework of philosophical and sociological understanding.
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Archival date: 2017-06-22
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2017-06-22

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