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  • 2017bakhtiphd

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The space between Beirut and the moon: the spatial Lebanese coming of age novel

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Naji Bakhti
Publication date2018
Number of pages259
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This thesis consists of a novel and a critical thesis. My novel, The Space between Beirut and the Moon, follows the story of a young boy’s coming of age within the confines of post-civil-war Beirut, around the first decade of the twenty-first century. The protagonist’s relationship with his father (a book-hoarding journalist with a penchant for writing eulogies) as well as his relationship with his closest friend (a Druze who is said to worship goats and believe in reincarnation) shape his own character. His experiences vary from the mundane family and school life, to near death experiences as he redefines the space within a turbulent and illusive city. In the critical thesis, my creative work is positioned as a Lebanese Spatial Coming of Age novel in which a narrator struggles to grow and mature in what I term a ‘counter-developmental’ society. The thesis argues that the irreverent and poignant brand of humour employed in my novel as well as my use of the unreliable and fragmented narration are facilitated by my choice of language, my largely spatially removed position and my mostly inherited rather than experienced from of trauma. Through humour and unreliable narration, the coming of age narrator of my novel is able to reassert human agency and renegotiate new space within the everchanging city.