Beyond Engaged Literature: Samir El-Youssef's The Illusion of Return

A feature of contemporary politics is the tendency to focus primarily onnarratives , as if the story lines were more important than the events. One often finds, for example, that news reports themselves become the news, rather than the conflicts, interests, or power struggles that purportedly make up the content. This sort of self-referentiality of the narrative producers may serve the media well, even if it impoverishes the reporting provided to the public. This narrative turn would be worthy of close scrutiny: is it part of the postmodern condition or is it symptomatic of somedeeper problem?