All That’s Left to You, Ghassan Kanafani


On Monday February 23 and Wednesday February 25, we will discuss Ghassan Kanafani’s short masterpiece, All That’s Left to You (Ma tabaqqa lakum).

For Monday’s conversation, I would like to focus on literary elements of the work and try to understand it as a text.

How does Kanafani use the five narrative voices that come together in strands or spirals? What is the use of time (the clock), place (the desert + other places)? How do the characterizations work together?

What are the ways in which he uses repetition (which comes through more clearly in Arabic but also to some extent in English) as a literary/ stylistic device?

What is your interpretation of the title?

You can start the conversation in the comments below and we will continue it in class.

There are many contextual and interesting intertextual links to other works (particularly his other work, Men in the Sun/Rijal fil Shams. There is also a lot that speaks to Other Lives/Hayawat Okhra.

Monday I would like to focus more on the inner workings of this text and Wednesday on links, contexts and so on.



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