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In the Shadow of World LiteratureSites of Reading in Colonial Egypt$
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Michael Allan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691167824

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691167824.001.0001

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date: 06 June 2020

Critique

Critique

Debating Darwin

Chapter:
(p.94) 5 Critique
Source:
In the Shadow of World Literature
Author(s):

Michael Allan

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691167824.003.0006

This chapter explores competing notions of critique as brought to light by discussions of Charles Darwin, focusing on a section of Naguib Mahfouz's novel, Qasr al-shawq (Palace of Desire), in which the youngest son, Kamal, publishes an article on Darwin in an Arabic-language journal. The chapter casts this fictionalized incident alongside the Lewis Affair, in which a professor at the Syrian Protestant College, Edwin Lewis, resigned over a scandal involving his evocation of Darwin during a commencement address. Where Edwin Lewis emerges as a martyr for academic freedom in the Arab world, Kamal negotiates his relationship to his family's response to his work differently. The chapter considers the presumptions at play in critical response and its connection to modern education.

Keywords:   critique, Charles Darwin, Naguib Mahfouz, Qasr al-shawq, Lewis Affair, Edwin Lewis, academic freedom, education, Syrian Protestant College

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