Narrative Technique and the Individual Experience in Saudi’s novel: The Case of Abdul- Aziz Al-Mesheri’s Saliha

Proceedings of The 13th International Conference on Humanities, Psychology and Social Sciences

Year: 2021


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Narrative Technique and the Individual Experience in Saudi’s novel: The Case of Abdul- Aziz Al-Mesheri’s Saliha

Dr. Hazmah Ali AI-Harshan



Saudi literature in general-and the novel in particular- is coincidentally linked to political and social change.  The Saudi literary figures have a tendency to conform to the principles of the new State. Therefore, literary writings advocated the spirit of originality, at least as an aspect of the new mode of life.  Indeed, it was within this historical environment that Saudi literature emerged. The novel is among the works whose very existence rests on the hastening rhythm of society. It has become more closely related to political and social changes, as it is the only text which can absorb social dynamics and interactions. In addition, it is the text which provides the dialogic model for the interactive intermingling of social systems.

The notion of investigating the nature of narratological movement during one or more historical eras involves the inquiries about the relationship between the novel and its context in terms of acceptance- rejection, mutual influence, and also in terms of investigating the internal and external data of the narrative. The thematic content of the Saudi novel throughout its various evolutionary stages represents the fundament of the construal of implicit discourse and the construction of general awareness relating to narratology. The discourse of a novel is an individual experience which is bound to a definite historical period. The discourse represents the hidden consciousness which the author himself/herself maintains it as a base for constructing the perceptive premises which determine the mannerisms of narrative discourse during a given historical phase.

 In this paper we investigate the profound ideational content pervading the narrative. Such contents are held to be dynamic and resistant to constancy or individualism. They are responsible for constructing the hidden discourse which seeks to deeply comprehend the issues faced by society. The analyst investigates the Saudi narrative through reading Abdul-Aziz Al

Mesheri’s novel Saliha (1998) that represents a fundamental shift from the novelist’s previous narrative experiences. The narratological structure of the novel is based on the notion of binary pairs which opposes the individual to different permanent powers. Such a structure turns conflict from a mere ephemeral crisis experienced by a given character into a crisis which is deeply rooted in a historical, social, and psychological network. Such approach to narratology did not crystallize visibly in Abdul- Aziz Al-Mesheri’s previous narrative writings in which the character just enjoyed the dimension of a prototype representing a social stratum and having no real human depth except its haven in its narrow social context.

The study reviews the literature of an expressively used mythical folklore of Kuweni through undertaking a systematic analysis of the story, drawing on two methods for examining folklore: a scientific and a social scientific approach. Using these approaches, the study reviews the character of Kuweni. This study will largely contribute to the literature of understanding folklore as an intangible cultural heritage and the study contributes to the contextual understanding of emotions, lifestyle, social attributes and power that existed during pre-historic Sri Lanka. The emotional journey of Kuweni will be studied to understand the holistic values embedded in her life. Through revitalizing the character of Kuweni, the study has implications for the contemporary creative industries of Sri Lanka, as Kuweni personifies the contemporary woman with many challenges in the life, and these may be expressed through dress and performance inspired by Kuweni. Kuweni’s emotional journey can be experienced by any woman during a certain stage of her life; therefore, she can be identified as an eternal woman.

keywords: Saudi narrative – Individual Experience- social context.