This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book shows that revolutionary discourse can be exploited by state and other (notably Islamist) formations as a means of suppressing diversity and dissent. It reveals that revolt—which is without a fixed or finite agenda—exceeds a reversible structure of power and powerlessness and favors alliances. The book explores contests a teleological version of nationalism, based on a unilinear sense of history, in which national self-identity enables the exercise of repressive power. It tracks desire lines toward a different kind of nation, in which violence yields to hospitality, virility is eschewed and heterogeneity is privileged over defensive homo-hegemony. The book pins down the postcoloniality of Arab literary production with reference to four specific contexts. It emphasizes modes of being 'beside oneself', as it were, so as to desediment the production of national identity as one.