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An Entropic Image of Islam in Paul Bowles’ “The Fqih”: A Semio-Pragmatic Approach

The study borrows the term "entropy" from physics—the second law of thermodynamics—to refer to the development of a chaotic concept of Islam in Paul Bowles’ short stories, particularly, “The Fqih”. To analyze the text and dig out this conceptual entropy, the paper will draw on two analytical strategies: Ferdinand de Saussure’s semiological approach, namely, the study of the paradigmatic and syntagmatic levels of the text in order to trace the meaning and the value of the word Fqih both in its cultural context and through its dynamic function along the narrative. Second, the analysis will apply some elements of “Speech Acts” theory, founded by J. L Austin, and John Searle, basically, the illocutionary and perlocutionary acts, so as to clarify how the Fqih’s words contribute to the development of the main incidents in the story. Moreover, the story itself will be treated as a discourse addressing the readers. The course of the article, then, tends to be a process of applying both structural and discursive tools, underlining their functions and interaction within and without the short story. The focal point behind these procedures is to discuss the following questions: How was a chaotic image of Islam elaborated within the texture of the short story, “The Fqih”? What could be the source of such entropic construct? and what would be the impact of this textual phenomenon on both Moroccan and Western readers? Answering these questions aims at unveiling analytically how cultural differences could contribute to structuring an entropic image of Islam via literary narratives. The final question, then, is how to put constraints on the flow of such misinterpretation of Islam?

Entropy, Fqih, Islam, Semiology, Speech Acts, Constraints

APA Style

Mahdia Abarchah. (2023). An Entropic Image of Islam in Paul Bowles’ “The Fqih”: A Semio-Pragmatic Approach. Arabic Language, Literature & Culture, 8(2), 14-18.

ACS Style

Mahdia Abarchah. An Entropic Image of Islam in Paul Bowles’ “The Fqih”: A Semio-Pragmatic Approach. Arab. Lang. Lit. Cult. 2023, 8(2), 14-18. doi: 10.11648/j.allc.20230802.11

AMA Style

Mahdia Abarchah. An Entropic Image of Islam in Paul Bowles’ “The Fqih”: A Semio-Pragmatic Approach. Arab Lang Lit Cult. 2023;8(2):14-18. doi: 10.11648/j.allc.20230802.11

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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