Civilization and Otherness: The Case of Driss Chraibi
Keywords:civilization, colonialism, otherness, identity, immigration
AbstractDriss Chraibi, the late Moroccan novelist, viewed himself as an “anarchist” and undertook mostly thorny issues: immigration, patriarchy, religion and the cultural conflicts between the West and the Arab world in general. From his first novel The Simple Past (1954) to his mid-career novels, such as La Civilization ma mère (1972) (Mother comes of Age) to his last novel L’homme qui venait du passé (2004) (The Man from the Past), Chraibi retells fixatedly the French colonization experience in the Maghreb. Above all, Chraibi’s entire intellectual trajectory and creative output is haunted by the notion of “civilization,” which to him, evokes “otherness.” In this article, I show how Chraibi was absorbed by the idea of civilization as he challenged its uses, or rather misuses that inflicted permanent scars on the psyche of North Africans from the Maghreb.
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