** Due Thursday, May 15th at 11:59pm, 6 pages minimum **

Please choose one of the two topics for your final paper:

1) Please explore how Wolves of the Crescent Moon resumes the narrative and thematic trajectory that abruptly comes to a halt at the end of Cities of Salt.  In your opinion, to what degree is al-Mohaimeed in dialogue with Munif?  What themes and ideas do the two novels share? Should you choose, you may also address how the novel Wolves of the Crescent Moon departs from Cities of Salt.  You may address the comparison from any number of aspects: structure of the novel, character, literary themes, storylines, etc.

2) In his review of Abd al-Rahman al-Munif’s Cities of Salt, Roger Allen says the following about its narrative structure:

“Furthermore, the narrative itself seems to be couched in such a way that we are to assume that an audience is listening to a tale which is to be told over a period of time.  That this tome of 627 pages is but a third of the total may lend credence to that interpretation, but the very mode of narration also supports it.  The narrator is concerned with every detail and is not shy about digressing in both time and place if it serves to provide a further insight to his tale.  Whereas contemporary fiction may be seen as striving to select events which will move the plot forward in as economical a manner as possible, here the narrator (in what is surely a deliberate ploy by the author) has all the time in the world.  The reader is invited to sit around the campfire and listen to the way in which the life-style being depicted has been destroyed and its people transformed.  Some might see the result as a poor example of what a Western audience expects from a novel.  A more open and developmental view would surely suggest that Cities of Salt represents an interesting (and, in my opinion, successful) experiment in the relationship between the narrator and reader, although it does of course presuppose that the latter is willing to be drawn into the fictional world being created thereby.”

(Review of Cities of Salt by Roger Allen, World Literatures Today, vol. 63 no. 2 [1989]: 359)

Please analyze Roger Allen’s impression concerning the narrative structure of Cities of Salt with close regard to the actual text of the novel.  Do you agree or disagree with Allen?  Can the structural-narrative characteristics of Cities of Salt be applied to Wolves of the Crescent Moon?  Why or why not?