Male-Female Relations in the Literary Maghreb: Poetics and Politics of Violence and Liberation in Francophone North African Literature by Tahar Ben Jelloun

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This book is a study of male-female relations in two acclaimed novels by contemporary Maghrebi Francophone author and French intellectual, Tahar Ben Jelloun. The problematic of male-female relations in the Maghreb, especially as represented by Tahar Ben Jelloun--with its extensive and overarching implications and possibilities within and beyond the realm of literary enquiry--has not received due scholarly and critical attention up until now. This study responds to the need for a holistic understanding of these male-female relations.


“Nangia's is the first in-depth study focusing on the underlying social/cultural imperatives at work between men and women at the micro and macro societal levels in two of Ben Jelloun's major novels that merit more critical attention than they have received to date. It is a welcome addition to the growing body of scholarly works which also find Ben Jelloun's novels to be increasingly absorbed with the role, the power, and the mystery of 'the word' in human existence.”-Prof. Louise M. Jefferson, Wayne State University

“[The author’s] book makes an important contribution to our understanding of Ben Jelloun and his works while, at the same time, providing us with many insights into the worlds of Morocco and the entire Maghreb.”-Prof. (Rev.) Mark DeStephano, Saint Peter’s College

“Tahar Ben Jelloun's narratives can be daunting, especially those that contain elements of magical realism or surrealism. Dr. Nangia's analyses of L'Homme rompu and La Nuit de l'erreur are most enlightening. His study helps the untrained reader recognize issues raised by the author in his narratives and the manner in which they are intertwined with traditional Maghrebi Arab cultural elements such as views of active female sexuality and Sufi mysticism."-Prof. Lourdes I. Torres-Monaghan, Marygrove College

Table of Contents

Foreword by Louise M. Jefferson



Chapter 1 - Introduction
? Tahar Ben Jelloun -
? A Critical Overview of Ben Jelloun Studies
-General studies
-Postcolonialism and intercultural relations
-Sexuality and corporeality
? L 'Homme rompu and La Nuit de l'erreur

Chapter 2 - Methodological Apparatus and Theoretical Framework
? Morocco: Some Sociocultural Aspects
? Sexuality and the Subordination of the Female
? Power: An Analytical Approach

Chapter 3 - L 'Homme rompu: The Broken Male
? Wife as Subordinate Female: Hlima
? Paternalism, Phallocentrism and Masculine Desire
? The Other Woman: Najia

Chapter 4 - La Nuit de Lerreur: Vengeance
? The Muslim Concept of Active Female Sexuality
? Zina: Her Birth and Identity
? Deconstructing Masculine Power: Three Configurations of Microlevel Power Relations
-Zina and Abid
-Zina and Bilal
-Zina and Bachar
? Zina and Salim

Chapter 5 - Conclusion
? Paradox of Male-Female Power Relations
? Male-Female Rupture
-Symbolic Death: Mourad
-Transcendence: Zina and Salim
? Liberatory Dimensions and Prospects


Selected Bibliography


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