Place in Minority Exile Literature: The Case of Yūsuf Šiḥāda

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This article traces the concept of Place in the poetry of exiled Palestinian poet and literary critic Yūsuf Šihāda,1 now a Polish citizen. The article analyzes Place as the objective correlative through which one can discern the ensemble of the intricate existential relationships in the poetry of this exiled Palestinian intellectual who is torn between its complexities. The Slavic Place and place in general in his poetry constitute the backdrop to understanding the hidden meanings, the existential dilemmas, the entangled human relationships between East and West, and the moral stance the poet reflects in his work. Šihāda’s poetry is based on the poles of open-closed and inside-outside. It reflects loss, wandering, and emotional, intellectual, psychological, humanitarian, and existential alienation. Analysis of the types of place in his poetry – the polar, the intimate, the border, and the utopian - indicates that the poet’s voice has become the voice of the minority, and through the dialectics within the different types of places, he portrays his own crises and those of his people, the various restrictions placed upon them, their dreams of a free, unfettered life, and their yearning to live in an intimate place where they can unite with the universe.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9-31
Number of pages23
JournalFolia Orientalia
VolumeBibliotheca vol. 1
StatePublished - 2018


  • Yūsuf Šiḥāda
  • Place in Arabic literature
  • Palestinian exile poetry
  • Arab-Slav relations


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