Prison and/or Playground

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  • Title: Prison and/or Playground: Negotiating the Spatial Dynamics of Rawi Hage’s Beirut
  • Author(s): Daisy Waked
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: New Directions in the Humanities
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Literary Humanities
  • Keywords: Lebanese Anglophone Writers, Subjectivity, Identity, Difference, War Literature, Diaspora, Beirut
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2327-7912 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-8676 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-7912/CGP/v17i01/1-9
  • Citation: Waked, Daisy. 2019. "Prison and/or Playground: Negotiating the Spatial Dynamics of Rawi Hage’s Beirut." The International Journal of Literary Humanities 17 (1): 1-9. doi:10.18848/2327-7912/CGP/v17i01/1-9.
  • Extent: 9 pages

Abstract

Rawi Hage’s novel “De Niro’s Game” is set in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war and introduces George and Bassam who, in their endeavor to survive, try to navigate the politics of the war and the emotional whirlwind that stems from it. This article studies the way the novel represents the spaces of the city under “ten thousand bombs” and how the characters are trying to negotiate the city spaces. There exists a clear juggling of spaces and their prescribed meanings and connotations, which is interesting in the way the author de-localizes the storytelling and effaces the demarcations of the concepts and definitions of these places and creates alternative spaces as a form of denial of the reality of the city. The author’s narration of the dynamics of the city takes different aberrations and the reality of the city takes different forms. Beirut is both powerful and weak, violent and wounded, painfully real and injected with dreamlike episodes, a prison and a playground.