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Abstract

This paper intends to present an semantic and cultural analysis of Rabī‛ Jābir’s novel Druzes of Belgrade. Published in 2011, the story deals with a period in Slavic history of the 19th century that parallels the reality of Middle East in the same time. The aim of the contribution is to examine the narrative context of historical events in the hero’s life which are narrated primarily through the juxtaposition of historical facts. Distinctions that are made between the real and the imaginary in the novel are bound to mystify – perhaps even mask – the historical and cultural relationship between Arab and Slavs. The writer is not only involved in producing the story of the mutual Arab – Slavic (co)existence within the Ottoman empire in Lebanon and Balkan as well, but is equally intent on providing the story behind the (hi)story. As a mode of representing reality the analysed literary work isn’ t neutral; it presupposes system of moral values which underlies the Arab Christian hero’s factual statements connected with the powerstructure and power-relations of the Ottoman society the protagonist lives in. Between history and narrative literature exists a relationship of complementarity that can only enrich and deepen reader’s understanding of a given culture and society. The narrative representations of historical facts in the novel Druzes of Belgrade are semantic and philosophical operations and as such can be misrepresentations according to Rabī‛ Jābir’s literary tendency in a specific historical and intellectual setting.
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