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Title: From revolt to nostalgia : rethinking the Moroccan postcolonial malaise with Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine, Abdelkebir Khatibi, and Abdellatif Laâbi
Author: Lyamlahy, Khalid
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 947X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis problematizes revolt and nostalgia in relation to individual and collective malaise in Morocco by analysing the expression of both concepts in the postcolonial works of three contemporary Moroccan Francophone authors: Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine, Abdelkebir Khatibi, and Abdellatif Laâbi. Weaving together the three writers' personal experiences and the broader political and historical context in Morocco, this thesis demonstrates that the two concepts can serve as productive mediums through which to probe a multifaceted Moroccan discourse of opposition and longing. Divided into six chapters and based mainly on close reading, the thesis builds upon a theoretical investigation of revolt and nostalgia in postcolonial studies to argue that their multi-layered and shifting meanings tend to be reduced respectively to a one-dimensional counter-discourse and a form of inefficient sentimentalism. Grounded in the political turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s, the following two chapters demonstrate that the writers' revolt is either strictly personal, connected to political activism, geared towards cultural decolonization, or concerned with transnational struggles, while being simultaneously performed in aesthetics through innovative strategies of formal transgression in theatre and poetry, for instance. Drawing on the work of Svetlana Boym, nostalgia is then analysed in the writers' late autobiographies, where its retrospective and prospective forms mourn lost spaces and long for uncertain futures, and subsequently in relation to exile, where it complicates the relationship with the homeland through the exilic-like experiences of wandering, travel, and incarceration. The final chapter probes how both concepts work together in poetry to rekindle past revolts and unsatisfied nostalgias, but often end up producing bitterness and disillusionment. This thesis ultimately argues for a critical reading of more recent Moroccan Francophone literature to acknowledge the oft-neglected signs of an ongoing malaise, and further investigate the historical depth and the transformative power of both revolt and nostalgia in writing.
Supervisor: Hiddleston, Jane Sponsor: Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme in the Humanities
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Postcolonial ; Postcolonial Studies ; Moroccan poetry ; Francophone Literature ; French ; Moroccan Francophone Literature ; Moroccan Literature ; Morocco