This article considers Robert Irwin’s representation of the nature of Oriental dreams, nightmares and storytelling in the medieval city of Cairo during the Mamluk period in his novel The Arabian Nightmare (2003). Through a process of close textual analysis and an application of germane theoretical frameworks (drawn from the study of Fantasy and Postmodern thought) we argue that Irwin forges a innovative link between the medieval Oriental world and contemporary post-modern culture in the West in order to destabilise what had become a Western ‘comfort zone’ concerning the East. Throughout the novel, Irwin uses the tools of historiographic metafiction to challenge the belief that Cairo's mysteries had been discovered by the beginning of the twenty first century and that the city could be completely known and understood by its Western observers, enmeshed in epistemological systems of scientific rationality and empirical knowledge.
|Number of pages||22|
|Journal||Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2014|
- Fantasy fiction
- Medieval literature
- Fairy tales