Inheriting and Rewriting: An Analysis of the Intertextuality in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s By the Sea

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Zhenying Liang


Much scholarship on African literature has focused on searching for a method to locate the African literature within the literary system. Abdulrazak Gurnah, the 2021 Nobel Prize – winning writer, has his own way of forming intertextual relationships with the Eastern and Western literary classics to establish a unique position of his works in the literary system. By the Sea is Gurnah’s sixth novel in which the readers can observe the traces of several Eastern and Western classics. Starting from this important sample, this article attempts to analyze the intertextuality between By the Sea and Eastern and Western classics such as A Thousand and One Nights, Heart of Darkness, Bartleby, the Scrivener, etc., and to figure out how Gurnah inherits and rewrites the classics in various periods and places to present the rich meanings of African literature and acquire a unique position of his own work in the literary system.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Mutual Learning among Civilizations through Comparative Literature