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The ‘Souverainement Orphelin’ of Abdelkébir Khatibi’s Early Writings

The ‘Souverainement Orphelin’ of Abdelkébir Khatibi’s Early Writings

Sociology in the Souffles Years

(p.41) Chapter One The ‘Souverainement Orphelin’ of Abdelkébir Khatibi’s Early Writings
(p.iii) Abdelkébir Khatibi
Andy Stafford
Liverpool University Press

One of Morocco’s most important sociologists, and certainly one of the first following Independence, Abdelkébir Khatibi occupied an unusual place in the new, developing discipline of post-colonial sociology. Both a poet and a novelist, Khatibi was also interested in history, philosophy and cultural theory; and this wide-ranging set of interests served him well when, barely thirty, he became editor of the Bulletin économique et social du Maroc. Here began a literary as well as sociological adventure which, little known in his œuvre, took Khatibi from Marx and Gurvitch to Lukacs and Lucien Goldmann. As well as leading research into sociological topics in Morocco and North Africa such as women’s sexuality, young people’s opinions or radical theories of social explanation, Khatibi began a study of the Moroccan class system in a synthetic analysis stretching back to earliest makhzen periods, using Ibn Khaldun, Marx and Durkheim to account for the açabiyya tradition of male lineage in tribal rulers. It is in this context that Khatibi wrote his Tattooed Memory in 1971, his sociology of the post-colonial self.

Keywords:   Khatibi, postcolonialism, decolonisation, transnationalism, transcolonial, aesthetics, sociology, Islam, Maghreb, Morocco, travel, stranger, art, sign, literature, philosophy, translation, bilingualism, Mediterranean, language, performativity, Palestine, alterity, Derrida, Hassoun, Segalen, Tanizaki, Japan, semiology, carpet, spiritual, poetics, ethics

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