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Abstract

Contemporary Arabic literature is slowly approaching a local production of the “fantasy” genre through attempts that can be considered an important starting point for this new genre still being defined in the Arab world. During the last decades the influence exerted by Western countries on the production of this literary genre, that reaches the Arab world around the twentieth century, has been evident mainly through the translations of Western fantasy novels. Among the various genres of fantasy novels which still enjoy international fame and have been translated into Arabic we find: The Lord of the Rings (1954–55) by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien; A Song of Ice and Fire (1996–2005) by Raymond Richard Martin and Harry Potter (1997–2007) by Joanne Kathleen Rowling. The delay in the introduction of the fantasy genre in the Arab countries has begun to be overcome in recent years, in fact many Arab authors have tried to write new fantasy novels. The fantastic tradition of Arab Islamic civilization is also an important part of drawing on the creation of original fantasy works. The study shows a general propensity of the contemporary Arab world to create a local fantasy, in which the Arab authors try to put the accent on the characteristic elements of Middle Eastern culture, though also drawing on the Western fantasy tradition.
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Abstract

Egyptian writer ʼIhsān ‛Abd al-Quddūs is one of the most prolific contemporary Arab writers and gained great popularity, especially in his country, but also all over the Arab world. The author deals with issues considered by society, including literature, taboos as the relationship between man and woman outside the context of marriage, the description of physical contacts, carnal and passionate love, prostitution, drugs, and the emancipation of women. In his stories he was interested in the feelings of the human being and in his relationship with the society. Al-Quddūs can be regarded as one of the most multifaceted intellectuals in the whole Arab world: in addition to being a writer and journalist of great popularity, he also occupied a prominent place in Egyptian cinema. ʼIhsān ‛Abd al-Quddūs was a provocative artist of great popularity in his time, but little known in the West, because of the scarceness of translated texts. Through the translation and analysis of his works it is possible to open up a wider glimpse into the knowledge of contemporary Arab literature.
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