The Narrator and His Double in al-Nashīdah by ʽAlāʼ ʽAbdal-Hādī: A Study of the Humorous Narrative in the Light of Mobility Theory

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 3-2022


Al-Nashīdah (2003) by ʽAlāʼ ʽAbd al-Hādī (b. 1956) is a volume of prose poetry that combines multiple genres including Sufi nonfiction, Arabic maqāmah,1 prose poetry, free verse, and rhymed verse. Mobility characterizes both the form and content of the humorous maqāmah-like narrative: the physical movement of the narrator and his double parallels movement from one genre to another creating a postmodernist narrative that takes the form of a journey. The narrator, who shows commitment to the tradition of classical Arabic literature, and his double, who represents postmodernism, move in time and place to meet first with Sufi writer, al-Niffarī, and then with different Arab poets, rhetoricians, theorists, and rulers. Dialogism gives rise to different types of humor including wit, slapstick, wordplay, situational, and dark humor. The journey, which apparently takes a traditional form, ends with the metamorphosis of the narrator’s double and his fusion into the narrator, signaling the rebirth of the postmodern author. Through this study, the humorous maqāmah-like narrative embedded in the poetic block will be analyzed in the light of mobility theory to unravel the interchangeable situation between tradition and postmodernism.