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Volume :4 Issue : 16 1984      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Tayeb Salih's Mustafa Sa'eed: The Southern Invader Icy Battlefield

Auther : Mohammad Shaheen

Mustafa Saeed says that he is an invader in icy battlefield. This implies that he is already aware of the destined battle he is fighting. What makes the battle interesting is the energy with which Mustafa Saeed fights despite his pre-ordained awareness of the doomed deeat in perspective. It is apparently this awareness of the discrepancy between action and consequence which leads Mustafa Sa’eed to relies that he is alie himself in the sense that he is not known to the public (first in the north, then later in the south after hisreturn to his homeland) as a man wearing a fighting mask.

Like othello, Mustafa Sa’eed an Arab African who fights a battle in the north: yet the motive for their fighting is different. Tayeb salih remarks in an interview that the conflict in othello is comparatively groundless because othello was warmly received in the court of Sicilia and his merits were not denied in the north. Mustafa Saeed, on the other hand, fights a battle whose origin lies in the confrontation between the north and the south, and this battle is deeply rooted in the western history of colonisation and infection, he invades the north.

It is here that tayeb salih differs from his fellow Arab writers, who lead the protagonists of their novels home to settle and start afresh with a perspective (characterised by sentimentality) which counters the negation of reality in the north.

However, the point of view in The Season of Migration to the North in confused as well as confusing, because the reader doesn’t know whether to sympathize with or withdraw his sympathy from the invader, this is, I believe, a major flaw in the novel which I have studied in some detail in a forthcoming publication.

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