Morocco Literature

Like the other Maghreb countries that have suffered more or less accentuated influence from France, Morocco also has a linguistic problem. The population speaks Arabic or Berber, but many writers express themselves in French, some even in Spanish. Aḥmad al-Ṣifriwī (b. 1915), from a Berber family, made his debut in 1954 with the novel written in French La bo ^ ite à merveilles. Also in 1954 Idrīs al-Šarāybī (b.1926) publishes Le passé simple, in which he attacks the traditional and religious principles of Moroccan society, and a year later Les boucs, on the other hand, a criticism of Western society seen through the eyes of Maghrebi workers transplanted to Paris. After a narrative interlude in which he moves away from the particular Moroccan environment (Un ami viendra ce soir, 1967; Mort au Canada, 1974), al-Šarāybī resumes the polemical tones of the first novels – but now also tinged with comic-ironic verve – for describe the problems of his land (Une enquête au pays, 1981; La Mère du printemps, 1982). In his most recent novel, Naissance à l’Aube (1986), the writer tries to trace his origins through the exploits of Ṭāreq, the Berber chief who brought Islamic civilization to Spain. For Morocco 2003, please check

Among the writers who express themselves in Arabic, the names of ῾Abd al-Maǧīd ben Ǧallūn (1915-1981) stand out, author, among other things, of an interesting autobiographical work in two volumes, fi al-Ṭufūla (“Sull ‘ childhood”); and that of Abd al-Karīm Gallāb (b. 1919), author of the novel Dafannā al-māḍī (1966, “We buried the past”), which highlights the social and religious contradictions within a family traditional of Fès. For this novel, Gallāb received a state award in 1968.

The echoes of the Arab-Israeli conflict also affect Moroccan literary production: the writer Mubārak Rabī with the novel Rifqat al-silāḥ wa al-qamar (1976, “The company of arms and the moon”), highlights the presence of Moroccan troops on the Golan Heights in 1973. ῾Abd al-Laṭīf al-La῾bī (b. 1942), “poet and publisher of poets”, one of the most prominent personalities in the Maghrebian culture, in 1966 he founded the magazine Souffles which, in addition to offering an overview of Maghreb poetry, deals with social and political problems not only of Morocco, but of the whole Arab world.

The magazine, which also comes out in Arabic (Anfās), after twenty-two issues in French and eight in Arabic, ceased publication in 1972, and al-La῾bī, accused of political crimes, was arrested. Sentenced to ten years in prison, he is released (1980) thanks to an international solidarity campaign. On his prison experience he wrote an autobiography, Le chemin des ordalies, published in 1982 in Paris, where he now resides. In 1989 he published another novel, Les rides du lion. It should also be remembered for the collections of lyrics Le règne de Barbarie (1976), Sous le bâillon, le poème (1981), and Histoire des sept crucifiés de esprir (1983).

A separate place deserves the writer Idmūn ῾Umrān al-Māliḥ (Parcours immobile, 1980, and Aïlen ou la nuit du récit, 1983), whose writings reflect the historical events of the Moroccan Jewish community. Also worthy of mention are the poets Muṣṭafā al-Nīsābūrī (Plus hautes mémoires, 1968; La Mille et deuxième nuit, 1975) and Muḥammad Luqīra (Marrakech, 1975; Moments, 1981); the writers Muḥammad H̱ayr al-Dīn (Agadir, 1967; Ce Maroc, 1975; Résurrection des fleurs sauvages, 1981) and ῾Abd al Kabīr al-H̱aṭībī, who, after the famous essay Le roman maghrébin (1968), published the novels La mémoire tatouée (1971), Vomito blanco (1974), Le lutteur de classe à la manière taoïste (1976), Le livre du sang (1979), Bilingual Amour (1983) and the play Le prophète voilé (1979). Among the prestigious names of Moroccan culture stands that of al-Ṭahīr ben Ǧallūn: after two collections of poems (1971 and 1972), he stands out on the world scene for his novels, one of which, La nuit sacrée, wins the Goncourt award. Le monde collaborator, lives in Paris. Several of his novels, including Moha le fou – Moha le sage (1978) and L’enfant de sable (1985), are translated into Italian (1988 and 1990); ben Ǧallūn is also a translator from Arabic: he has the merit of having made known in Europe another Moroccan writer, Muḥammad Šukrī (or Choukri), born in 1935 and author of the autobiographical book-denunciation al-ẖubz al-ḥāfī (1973, ” The naked bread “), in which he describes his violent life, as a murderer’s son in Morocco of the disinherited. In 1992 Šukrī published the second part of this novel, Zamān al-Aẖṭā (“The time of errors”). Muḥammad Mrabet also talks about Moroccan marginalized people who, in collaboration with the American writer P. Bowles, published The big mirror in 1989. Among the poets of the new generation completely Arabized, we note the poet Wafā al-῾Amrānī, author, among other things, of a refined collection of poems, al-Inẖāb (1991, “The choice”).

Morocco Literature