Anti-language and its Role in Redrawing of Cultural Geography in Soueif’s The Map of Love

Document Type : Research Paper



This article tries to discusse the notion of “anti-language” and its effects on identity scripts in prize-winning The Map of Love (1999), a novel by Egyptian-American bestselling writer, Ahdaf Soueif, through a cultural and post-colonial perspective. Deploying Bill Ashcroft’s and Mikhail Bakhtin’s views, the writer has tried to elaborate on how minority writers, like Egyptian-American Ahdaf Soueif, have used the “anti-language” technique and “wordplay” strategy to rewrite and redefine the cultural geography bequeathed from the colonial era. To this end, the notions of “language variance,” “polyphony,” and “carnival” have been discussed. It is argued that, since the current cultural geography has been formed based on an “essentialist” and binary style of thought which represents oriental fantasies, the minority writers have tried to redraw cultural maps and redefine the identity patterns not only through deconstruction of the hierarchies and “epistemic violence” of neo-imperial discourse but also through wordplays, neologisms, and back translation


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