Bulletin of Advanced English Studies

Volume 4 - Issue 1 (3) | PP: 14 - 26 Language : English
DOI : https://doi.org/10.31559/baes2020.4.1.3

Ali Salem's The Phantoms of New Egypt (1968)1: A Subversive Reading of Post-Independence Dystopia

Marwa Essam Eldin Fahmy Alkhayat
Received Date Revised Date Accepted Date Publication Date
28/12/2019 18/1/2020 16/2/2020 22/3/2020
The current study aims to establish Salem's The Phantoms of New Egypt2 as a dystopian drama to expose the collapse of utopia and the rise of dystopia within the national pitfalls of the ruling class in post-independence Egypt. This provides an explanation of the title of the present paper since dystopia has been perceived as an escape to dismal socio-political conditions while utopia has been considered as an escape from a grim historical reality to an ideal hypothetical one. Moreover, the present study examines the close relationship between dystopian drama and dark satire since each of them is a counterpoint to the vision of utopia. Satire foregrounds the huge cleavage between a utopian dream and a dystopian bleak reality to underscore acts of resistance and struggle. Salem's The Phantoms of New Egypt is as a perfect example of the 'totalitarian laughter' which is a prominent feature in Bakhtin's notion of 'grotesque realism'. This highlights post-independence grotesque power which is both incongruous and monstrous. Power abuse is also scrutinized fantastically within Foucault's 'panoptic gaze'3 to create normalized and docile subjects.

How To Cite This Article
, M. E. E. F. A. (2020). Ali Salem's The Phantoms of New Egypt (1968)1: A Subversive Reading of Post-Independence Dystopia . Bulletin of Advanced English Studies, 4 (1), 14-26, 10.31559/baes2020.4.1.3

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