Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Literature No. 4 October, 2016 Pp. 3-3
It has been a privilege for me to act as guest editor for this special literature edition of AWEJ and I would like to begin by expressing my full thanks to Dr. Khairi for his kindness in thinking of me in this context. In particular I am happy to act as guest editor for this special edition because I have been intellectually stimulated by the broad range of scholarly articles from around the Arabic and Asian world herein contained. The perspectives are many, from poststructuralism and new historicism to post-colonialism and even criminal psychology. The central theme which connects them all together, however, is the overarching need to find new voices and perspectives out of the conflicting realities that have so profoundly affected post second world war and post-colonial societies since around 1945. There is less certainty now than ever before about the “correct” critical models to follow, but the new plethora of insights and theories used to explicate literature in the twenty-first century is deeply liberating in many ways. We have finally gotten away from Leavis’s “Great Tradition” and Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent” which presented the social and class preferences for a few “Great” writers as an eternal standard for everyone in the academy to worship and adore forever (and forever) more. From the present mix of multifarious critical approaches, I expect, eventually, to see a more egalitarian consensus emerge concerning the future uses and interpretation of literature both in society and in the private study. Undoubtedly, the collection of scholarly articles contained in this special literature edition of AWEJ will contribute to an essential discovery and rediscovery of fresh definitions concerning what literature is and can be for a new generation of writers and readers in the twenty-first century.
Dr. John Wallen
University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates