Advertisement

(Dis)Enabling Masculinities: The Word and the Body, Class Politics, and Male Sexuality in El Saadawi’s God Dies by the Nile

  • Sally Hayward

Abstract

Set in the small Egyptian community of Kafr El Teen on the banks of the Nile, God Dies by the Nile focuses on the Mayor’s exploitation of Zakeya, Kafrawi, and their families. Forming a complex relationship between words, images, and lived experience, El Saadawi makes visible a version of reality that privileges those who can utilize words, images, and material practices to create and sustain a position of power. Ruling “the government of Kafr El Teen” (El Saadawi 1995: 9) as if it were his own personal empire independent of the national government in Cairo, the Mayor uses the word and the image to displace God as the ultimate ruler in the eyes of the community. Superficially, the most “able” man in the village, a “representative of Government” and a “responsible official” (8), the Mayor appears at first to have a privileged sense of identity and a privileged physiognomy. His “deep blue eyes,” which speak of his mother’s Englishness, and his “prominent high forehead” allow both himself and the villagers to imagine him as one of the “[rulers] of [the] country” (12).

Keywords

Sexual Exploitation Ruling Elite Material Practice Sexual Excitation Mother Figure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Chatterjee, Partha. 1993. The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Dunton, Chris. May 1, 2001. “This Rape is Political: The Citing of Women’s Experience in Novels by Aidoo, Ngugi, Farah and El Saadawi.” Online.Google Scholar
  3. EI-Saadawi, Nawal. 1992. “An Interview with Nawal El-Saadawi,” George Learner, The Progressive 56: 32–35.Google Scholar
  4. —. 1995. God Dies by the Nile, trans. Sherif Hetata. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  5. —. 1997. The Nawal El Saadawi Reader. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  6. —. 1999. A Daughter of Isis: The Autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi, trans. Sherif Hetata. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  7. Freud, Sigmund. 1984. Two Short Accounts of Psychoanalysis, trans. and ed. James Strachey. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  8. Gandhi, Leela. 1998. Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Grosz, Elizabeth. 1994. Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Kristeva, Julia. 1982. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, trans. Leon S. Roudiez. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Mazrui, Alamin M. and Judith I. Abala, 1997. “Sex and Patriarchy: Gender Relations in Mawt al-rajul al-wahid ‘als al-ard (God Dies by the Nile).” Research in African Literatures 28: 17–33.Google Scholar
  12. Mitra, Indrani and Madhu Mitra. 1991. “The Discourse of Liberal Feminism and Third World Women’s Texts: Some Issues of Pedagogy.” College Literature 18 (3): 55–64.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lahoucine Ouzgane and Robert Morrell 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally Hayward

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations