A cognitive stylistic analysis of a selection of contemporary egyptian novels

  1. Zakaria Abdelaziz Zakaria Mahmoud
Supervised by:
  1. Ana María Fraile Marcos Director
  2. Pedro Álvarez Mosquera Director

Defence university: Universidad de Salamanca

Year of defence: 2020

  1. María Consuelo Montes Granado Chair
  2. Doaa Samy Secretary
  3. Nahwat El-Arousy Committee member

Type: Thesis


This thesis offers a comprehensive cognitive stylistic analysis of three contemporary novels by Egyptian writers: Karim Alrawi's (2015) Book of Sands; Khalid Al Khamissi's (2006) Taxi and Naguib Mahfouz's (1985) The Day the Leader Was Killed. It employs two prominent theoretical frameworks which are Text World Theory (Werth, 1999; Gavins, 2007) and Blending Theory (Fauconnier and Turner, 2002). This thesis has three central aims: it shows the way in which Text World Theory helps readers to understand the narrative as a conceptual structure consisting of three conceptual interconnected layers, namely, the discourse-world, text-worlds and sub-worlds. It reveals the important role Blending Theory plays in correctly interpreting sentence-level metaphors and how irony and humor resulting from the clash of incongruous elements inside the metaphoric blends are used to implicitly criticize some dominant political and socio-cultural issues in Egypt. Finally, it illustrates how the combination of Text World Theory and Blending Theory develops a method that enables readers to completely understand the novels on both macro and micro levels. To do this, Text World Theory is selected as a discourse framework for the macro analysis of Book of Sands. Then, Blending Theory is used for a detailed analysis of sentence-level metaphors in Taxi. These analyses reveal that each of the theories tackles particular aspects of the literary text and their combination can lead to a fruitful strategy that introduces a holistic investigation of the selected Egyptian novels and exposes their complexities and intricacies. Therefore, both approaches are integrated in the analysis of The Day the Leader Was Killed. This integration proves to be useful in developing an effective analytical tool that enables readers to fully understand the narrative and uncover the hidden messages and concealed realities of the Egyptian society to both national and international readerships.