Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Research in African Literatures

Volume

49

Issue

3

Publisher

Indiana University Press

Publication Date

8-2018

First Page

58

Last Page

82

Abstract

This article discusses the representation of the monarch in Abdellah Taïa’s novel Le Jour du Roi (2010) and Fouad Laroui’s “Tu n’as rien compris à Hassan II” (2004), focusing on the act of reading and the historical context of Hassan II’s reign. A close reading of Taïa’s novel and Laroui’s short story will reveal narrative strategies used to fictionalize sovereignty. Laroui uses humor and irony to criticize the regime of Hassan II, while Taïa uses oneiric elements to capture the arbitrary nature of monarchy and the notion of absolute royal power as theorized by Achille Mbembe. Both writers criticize Hassan II’s repressive reign and assert their own sovereignty as writers, while discrediting an oppressive political regime. Both authors write about their native Morocco from a position of exile (Paris and Amsterdam). This geographical distance shapes their understanding of their roles as writers and educators who reveal and criticize sovereignty and abuse of power.

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