East-West Fiction as World Literature: The Hayy Problem by Srinivas Aravamudan

By Srinivas Aravamudan

From: Eighteenth-Century reports
Volume forty seven, quantity 2, wintry weather 2014
pp. 195-23


This article specializes in the reception background of translations of Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy ibn Yaqzan and the way usual theodicy, empiricist experimentalism, and philosophical fiction motivated eighteenth-century England. Discussing the prestige of Ibn Tufayl’s principles relating to Edward Pococke, John Locke, Robert Boyle, and Daniel Defoe permits students to head past the East-West dichotomy and as a substitute create a gap from eighteenth-century experiences onto contemporary debates round international literature. utilizing Hayy as a prism, we will be able to comprehend the possibilities in addition to the drawbacks of an international literature paradigm, as theorized by way of Wolfgang von Goethe, Erich Auerbach, and newer scholars.


Eighteenth-Century experiences is devoted to publishing the easiest of present writing on all points of eighteenth-century tradition. The magazine publishes diverse modes of study and disciplinary discourses that discover how fresh historiographical, severe, and theoretical principles have engaged students excited about the eighteenth century. Eighteenth-Century reviews is the respectable booklet of the yankee Society for Eighteenth-Century reviews (ASECS).

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3 (2006): 291–309. 74. ” Crusoe demonstrates his regional identity by asserting that in comparison to the earth, the moon he saw when suspended aloft was not much bigger than Yorkshire. Fedwa Malti-Douglas, “Hayy bin Yaqzan as Male Utopia,” in World of Ibn Tufayl: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Hayy ibn Yaqzan, 68. Malti-Douglas also sees a scapegoating of the princess who abandoned the infant out of “yaftadih,” or shame and disgrace created by needing to hide from a jealous ˙ ˙ brother this evidence of her consummated love affair.

See Goodman, Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy Ibn Yaqzan, xiv. Ibn Tufayl was personal physician to the new Almohadi ruler of Granada, Abu Ya’qub Yusuf, from 1163–84 and his text has been read by others as an ideological tool of Almohadi ideology; Ben-Zaken argues that Hayy reintegrated the popular Sufism, along with the conventional rationalism of Andalusian Islam, that had been violently suppressed by the previous dynasty, the Almoravids. Goodman suggests the opposite, that the text was a coded form of dissent from the official line.

See Erich Auerbach, “Philology and Weltliteratur,” trans. and intro. Maire and Edward Said, Centennial Review 13, no. 1 (1969): 1–17, esp. 11, 15. 17. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 2012). 18. Lawrence I. Conrad, “Research Resources on Ibn Tufayl and Hayy ibn Yaqzan,” in The World of Ibn Tufayl: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Hayy Ibn Yaqzan, ed. Lawrence I. Conrad (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1996), 267. 19. Samar Attar, The Vital Roots of European Enlightenment: Ibn Tufayl’s Influence on Modern Western Thought (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007).

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