Transnational Eruption: Moroccan Diaspora and Literary Disruption
Copyright (c) 2022 Mohamed Baya
Questo lavoro è fornito con la licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 4.0 Internazionale.
This article proposes a comparative reading of two works by writers of Moroccan descent that examine the phenomenon of migration and elaborate on what Ato Quayson has called the “diasporic imaginary.” Written as first-person narratives, Abdellah Taïa’s Une Mélancolie arabe (2008) and Saphia Azzeddine’s Mon Père en doute encore (2020) approach the migration experience from a gay man’s and a heterosexual woman’s perspective who both experience departures, arrivals, and nostalgic yearnings. Portraying a young man from a poor Moroccan family, Taïa’s fourth semibiographical fictional account tells of the narrator’s fascination for music and cinema that takes him to Paris and Cairo, and his coming to terms with a homosexual identity. Twelve years later, in her eighth novel, Azzeddine amalgamates the autobiographic and the fictional to tell the story of her father who arrived in France in the 1960s. Although the authors cover different geographical and historical contexts, both writers draw upon a common Moroccan heritage, and as diasporans they examine the constraints of diaspora life from different gender positions and through recourse to a variety of genres. While the interweaving of the autobiographical and the fictional in both texts complicate Taïa and Azzeddine’s literary approach towards truth-telling, the interpretive frameworks provided by the travelogue and patriography allow for a heightened reading experience.