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Abstract

In her article "The Motif of the Patient Wife in Muslim and Western Literature and Folklore" Munira Hejaiej examines the tale of modern Tunisian tale of "Sabra" told by women to an all female audience. Hejaiej's analysis includes some of the tale's analogues from various linguistic and cultural contexts, including readings of the medieval variant written in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. She argues that the comparative analysis provides us with a broader scope of interpretive paths in order to deconstruct essentialized readings of the tale, on the one hand, and to challenge previously accepted conventional boundaries between cultures on the other. Hejaiej offers a criticism of literary scholarship that has ignored the relevance of folk variants of similar themes in various languages and cultures and of feminist scholars who have read reductively the motif of the patient wife as misogynistic.

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