Text and context : gender and national identity in Mayy Ziyādah's Fleurs de Rêve
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Mayy Ziyādah has been given limited critical attention as a key figure in the early twentieth-century formation of an Egyptian national identity and in the stirrings of an Eastern women's movement. The author, however, attempts to shed light on her first publication, a collection of French poetry entitled, Fleurs de Rêves. The thesis looks at how Mayy reappropriates Western Romanticism to carve out space for the marginalized Oriental, female voice. In particular the author addresses her use of a migrant identity, free from land-bound national ties, as well as her use of revisionist Sapphic poetics to celebrate a female creative community.
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