Developing or Devouring: Modernity vs. Modernization in Wallace Stegner’s Discovery! The Search for Arabian OilandAbdelrahman Munif’sCities of Salt, ‘al-Tih


This study aims to shed light on the problematics of handling modernization and modernity as synonymous. This conflation overlooks the importance of the transitional processes that pave the way for modernity to take place.The paper examines two Petro-fiction works: Wallace Stegner’s Discovery! The Search for Arabian Oiland Abdelrahman Munif’s Cities of Salt,’al-Tih, which when studied contrapuntally, provide examples of the dichotomy between modernity and modernization. Furthermore, putting these two texts together opens up processes that are otherwise invisible. To show that, the paper uses Jacques Derrida’ssous rature as a lens to expose the lies and exploitation behind the Westerngrand narratives of modernization and imperial benevolence. While Stegner crosses out and covers under the surface of his content the exasperating and disrupting components of his narrative, Munif unearths and reveals the truth behind them.The study draws upon various theoretical frameworks, such as Richard Peet, Rob Nixon,Robert Vitalis, and Irene L. Gendzier.


Duaa Salameh


Abdelrahman Munif, modernity, modernization, petro-fiction, sous rature, Wallace Stegner

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