Abstract: War and Love in Lebanese Francophone Literature

Lebanon is a country that evokes images of a war-torn landscape in the western imagination, however such a perception is far from the reality. The Mediterranean country is a place for thriving cultural production, especially Francophone cultural production. Even after Lebanon gained its independence from France in 1943, the French language continues to have a strong presence in the country. Today there are several poets who choose French as their langue d’expression. My research will look at the current Francophone poetic landscape in Lebanon, specifically the poetry of Nada Skaff. I endeavor to explore the following questions: How does Nada Skaff’s poetry fit in the context of Lebanese literature in general? In Skaff’s poetic world, how can poetry be both personal and political? What themes does Skaff talk about that relate to Lebanon’s sociopolitical status? Why did Skaff choose the French language to write in? Moreover, in preparation for my honors thesis about the lauded Lebanese francophone poet Nadia Tuéni, I will analyze the influence of Tuéni’s poetics on Nada Skaff’s writing.