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The strategy of absence in the poetry of Saadi Youssef.

The article sets out to analyze absence as a poetic strategy in the works of the contemporary Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef, whose poetic corpus gives the illusion of direct signification. However, the poems themselves question such directness and create an anxiety of reading, thus provoking a search for that which has been playfully veiled. Such anxiety pushes the reader to be inquisitive and curious, and thus this absence has a poetic function. Just as the Derridean notion of play has a role in creative production, it has also a corresponding role in decoding the poetic text. Based on analysis of three poems--"Batna," "The Lost Letter," and "Paradise"--the article demonstrates the originality of intertextual strategies in the work of Saadi Youssef and the mounting steps of comprehension in the reader's reception.

Sayyid Abdallah received his B.A. and M.A. in Arabic Literature from Cairo University on "Signifiers of Absence in the Levels of Poetic Construction in Saadi Youssef's Poetry." He has written and published several studies on the Arabic novel and poetry, some of which have appeared in literary periodicals. He is currently working on a project focusing on the poetic characteristics of contemporary prose poetry.
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Author:Abdallah, Sayyid
Publication:Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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