‘Sabir’s Story’ Novel of Mahmud ‘Isaasa Sample of the contemporary Palestinian Prison Literature
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century, brought an occupation to the Palestinian people, causing oppression and suffering. This study opts the novel of Mahmud Isa (1968) called Hikayat Sabir [Sabir’s story] (2012) as a sample of contemporary Palestinian prison literature, because it has significant both social and political resonances which pushed Al-Jazeera Television to turned it into documentary film. I argue the mentioned novel reflects the writer’s engagement in political and national critique as well as in the struggle for Palestinians’ national political and economic emancipation. To date, most scholars have only repeated commonly held views about it, but yet, it was not been studied deeply in thorough and academically. Consequently, this study aims to highlight not only the documentary values of the novel, but also its literary and philosophical contributions as well as the employed narrative styles and techniques. Furthermore, this article seeks to highlight main critical issues such as representing suffering, experience, and emotions; strategies of survival, and how the narration reveals hidden violations of human rights. My thesis is that the novelist mixes factual with imaginary aspects throughout his novel, so this study seeks to shed light on such narrative methodology too. I will use literary narrative analysis methodology and the method of literary analysis employed draws upon Mieke Bal’s approach to narratology.
Keywords - Literary Analysis, Prison Literature, Palestinian Literature, Sabir’s Story.