Beyond Comparative Poetics: An Evaluation of the Nucleo-genre Paradigm

Proceedings of The 4th World Conference on Social Sciences

Year: 2022



Beyond Comparative Poetics: An Evaluation of the Nucleo-genre Paradigm

Ahlam Ahmed Mohamed Othman



The dominance of Western theories in an age of globalization and swift technological advances, which brought to collective consciousness manifestations of literary and artistic genres in distant geographical places that were once viewed as primitive or exotic, necessitates raising the question of comparative poetics anew. During the second half of the twentieth century, scholars such as James J.Y. Liu, Earl Miner, Stephen Owen, and Wai-lim Yip engaged in comparing Western to Eastern poetics. However, their work fell short of reaching a unifying approach to the study of world poetics. This is the gap that Alaa Abdel-Hadi, a thinker, poet and postcolonial critic, came to fill out. Abdel-Hadi’s Nucleo-genre Paradigm is universally oriented. Based on qualitative logic and Lutfi Zadeh’s fuzzy sets, it posits that there are essential elements common to various cultural manifestations of a single genre across time and space. It is these common elements, which help decide whether a certain manifestation belongs to a certain genre, that allow for cross cultural communication and understanding while respecting cultural specificities, manifested by an infinite number of aesthetic elements. Unlike the other approaches to the field of comparative poetics, The Nucleo-genre Paradigm distinguishes between two levels of genre, the poetic level of production and the aesthetic level of reception, and gives primacy to reception, which is often disregarded in genre theories. In this paper, an attempt is made to move beyond comparative poetics and tackle the contribution of The Nucleo-genre Paradigm.

keywords: Comparative poetics , World poetics , the Nucleo-genre Paradigm.