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The Missing Corpse in Contemporary Iraqi Fiction: Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad and Muhsin Al-Ramili’s Daughter of the Tigris

Hamdar, Abir

The Missing Corpse in Contemporary Iraqi Fiction: Ahmed Saadawi’s            Frankenstein in Baghdad            and Muhsin Al-Ramili’s            Daughter of the Tigris Thumbnail


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Abstract

This essay focuses on the trope of the missing corpse in two contemporary Iraqi novels: Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad (2013) and Muhsin al-Ramli’s Daughter of the Tigris (2019). Drawing mainly on critical work on the corpse and death studies as well as critical ideas on relics and hauntology the essay asks: What place does the missing corpse occupy in a body of contemporary literary outputs that have witnessed a significant engagement with the materiality of the dead body? How is the narrative of the absent corpse structured and framed? How is it experienced and accounted for? What forms and shapes replace the absent body? The essay argues that the missing corpse takes on an “absent presence” that haunts the narrative while the dead body’s very disappearance is compensated for through relics, surrogates, replacements, and repetitions. In conclusion, the essay contends that this absent presence further signals a haunted futurity that is entangled in Iraq’s history of violence but which, nonetheless, offers the potential for a radically new and democratic vision for the country’s future.

Citation

Hamdar, A. (2023). The Missing Corpse in Contemporary Iraqi Fiction: Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad and Muhsin Al-Ramili’s Daughter of the Tigris. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, https://doi.org/10.1080/00111619.2023.2269833

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 6, 2023
Online Publication Date Oct 13, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Oct 17, 2023
Publicly Available Date Oct 17, 2023
Journal Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction
Print ISSN 0011-1619
Electronic ISSN 1939-9138
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/00111619.2023.2269833
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1804775

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Copyright Statement
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.





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