According awareness; moreover, it brings into view the originality

According to Hilal (1975), the
significance of comparative literature in the Arab world can be chiefly in
enhancing people’s national personality and increasing their national
awareness; moreover, it brings into view the originality of the national spirit
in relation to humanity in general (p. 4). At its very beginning in the early
twentieth century, no special attention was paid to comparative literature in
the Arab world. However, in the 1970s and 1980s, Arabic comparative literature
witnessed a fast theoretical development (khezri, 2015, p. 43). Chazoul (2006)
has stated that early Arab comparatists such as Ruhi Al-khalidi (1864-1913) who
has written the first book on comparative literature, pursued the West in
conducting comparative literary studies.

Since the 1980s, comparative
literature has become a university subject in several insituitons of higher
education across the Arab world. Arab scholars, especially Muhammad Ghunaymi
Hilal (1916-1968), have also applied the traditional French school to their
comparative literary studies and then, they shifted to other new theories like
those of the American school, reception, Marxism, and the postcolonial theories
(Khezri, 2015, p. 43). With the increasing interest in comparative literary
studies, Arab scholars tried to develop their own theory in this field.
However, the Arabic school of comparative literature has had very little to add
to the prevailing Western theories (khezri, 2015, p. 45).

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In his book, Al-Adab
al-Muqarin: Mush’kilat wa Afaq (Comparative Literature: Problems and Horizons),
Abood (1999) states that comparative literature deals with the fast process of
globalization as an essential issue. He has also endeavored to prove that
comparative literature can be of great importance in treating significant
issues in contemporary Arabic literature, and this cannot be carried out
without comparative literature and its national, regional, or international
dimensions (pp. 4-5). Like Wellek, Abood has proposed that the American school
of comparative literature is an approach wherein literary phenomena are studied
in a way that transcends the national barriers.

Given that the principle literary
phenomena, in all their kinds and trends, do not pertain to a single national
literature, the American school of comparative literature insists on studying
these phenomena within their natural framework rather than creating a framework
by the comparatist (Madhi, 2003, pp. 84-87). Moreover, any significant
phenomenon that surfaces in literature, as a result of the early social
development of the society wherein that literature has been written, will
inevitably reappear in other literatures. Its appearance, however, cannot be
considered as a mere consequence of the influence feature. Still, it is a
direct consequence of the social conditions of the societies in which these
other literatures are written, regardless of the time of that phenomenon’s
emergence (Wellek & Warren, 1956, pp. 102-104). Accordingly, the question
of literary development is strongly correlated to the development of the
society; however, it depends on the time of its emergence. Literatures pass
through the same historical stages and witness the emergence of the same basic
literary forms and trends.