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Dirassat

Abstract

This article examines the politics of Moroccan cultural self- representation from a novelistic perspective. It attempts to foreground the ambivalent standpoint that many Moroccan novelists evince in imag (in) ing Moroccan cultural identity. A hybrid approach to the Self/ Other dialectic comes into play in this endeavour at self-definition. Importantly, this article tries to outline Moroccan self-representation from gendered, spatial and national perspectives. It, therefore, seeks to answer the following questions: How does Abdelmajid Benjelloun's autobiographical novel In Childhood represent Moroccan identity and culture? Is its portrayal of Moroccaness supportive or critical of the Orientalist lenses that Morocco has been relentlessly subjected to? In what ways does the narration of the story from a little child's eyes come to (de)stereotype Moroccan cultural identity? Does self-representation vary along linguistic lines: Are Moroccan Arabophone writers different from or similar to their Francophone counterparts in the image(s) they display about Moroccan cultural Self?

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