Master of Arts (MA)


French Studies

Document Type



After the independence of Morocco in 1956, the question of the language arose among Moroccan writers. Highly aware of its historical implications authors had to choose between a vernacular such as spoken Arabic or Berber and a traditionally written language such as classical Arabic or French, languages of the colonizers. From there arose the contested choice of French, perceived by some as a patriotic treason. Use of French was predicted to disappear, however some authors defended its use. One such author is Abdellatif Laâbi, father of the famous review Souffles created in 1966, that played a crucial role in defining maghrebian literature of French expression. I argue that far from betraying their freshly independent nations, such authors have served to subvert the language of the colonizer. Indeed, francophone post-colonial North African writers have managed to deconstruct the language and the novel in a way as to make it their own freeing their literature of the colonial influence. Breaking the rigidity of language allows them to express their multiple influences and serves to translate a traumatic experience such as colonization into a positive phenomenon, writing. I will demonstrate this by giving on overview of the linguistic situation in Morocco, and the historical context that led to Le Chemin des ordalies written by Laâbi; I will then propose my reading of the narrative scheme in Laâbi’s Le Chemin des ordalies as well as a brief analysis of the péritexte of the novel.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Ngandu, Nkashama P