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Foregrounding Style in "The Dice Player" by Mahmoud Darwish

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“The dice player” by Mahmoud Darwish is a rich area to be studied , because it is full of variant and new techniques. In this paper, the poem will be studied and analyzed through a formalistic point of view. Darwish highlights the process of writing poetry, he is not totally free from experience and hard work. A poem can be read beyond its immediate meanings. Darwish adopted the free verse’s technique that it did not abide strictly by classical poetic norms. In general, the poem reflects an autobiographical sense represented within a narrative chain. The research is aiming to prove the existence of foregrounding style in the poem by linking it with linguistics evidences.

Foregrounding is marked, prominent, protruding, and salience which attracts the attention of the audience by its deviation. It is a form of textual patterning that is motivated specifically for literary aesthetic purposes. The research will be divided into two chapters according to the foregrounding’s kinds or techniques that Mahmoud Darwish used and how he achieves it through the semantic level. The first technique is deviation from linguistic form ( deviation from the norm). The second one is by creating sense of deviation through repetition; by using certain words / texts as foregrounded utterances that it gets its foregrounding effect through repetition. In other words, when an aspect of the text is repeated or paralleled (more of the same). What Darwish is trying to do with foregrounding is defamiliarizing the familiar in order to make the text more noticeable and receivable. Foregrounding is a technique of “ making strange” in order to stimulate effects in giving meanings to the text. The main purpose of this study is to trace down the role of foregrounding in creating some literary aesthetic principles within the poem, also it leads to an affective responses by the reader. Furthermore, It enhances the aesthetic appreciation of the readers, and it creates a huge impact on the reader’s perception of the text. The main focus will be upon dismantling the structure of the poem into the semantic level.

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The semantic /(lexicology) level works in the way that words are arranged to help knowing why using certain rules. So, knowing the rules of using language comes from the culture (society). Semantic related to the study of meanings is through the relation of words to each other. the research response to the urgent necessity to analyze the Arabic texts in a new linguistic way and to give these texts new dimensions and various interpretations beyond the border of words. Darwish is an iconic figure, he was able to create continuity with the past on different levels of language. The poem is a mix of memories, history, and politics that followed him. Darwish’s past and his complicated reality are not isolated from his writing. “A poet born amidst such a reality in which there is an occupation, struggle, and ideological formations, lives a time/history that is fragile. Nothing could be taken for granted: ‘I feared for a time made of glass’. It can easily be broken into shards.” (Atef, p.101)

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