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Khatibi and Performativity, ‘From where to speak?

Khatibi and Performativity, ‘From where to speak?

Living, Thinking and Writing with an ‘epistemological accent’

Chapter:
(p.125) Chapter Five Khatibi and Performativity, ‘From where to speak?
Source:
Abdelkébir Khatibi
Author(s):
Alfonso de Toro
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789622331.003.0006

Focusing on the work, that is located at the productive and innovative interfaces between of the Epistemai of Islam and Christianity, of Orient and Occident, this article will describe Khabiti’s ‘performative’ thinking and praxis in relation to the actual theory and praxis of ‘belonging’, ‘hospitality’, and ‘identity’ that are always dependent on language, on one’s own chosen language, and which are inserted into the body and steered or driven by emotion. The concept of “cultural performance” and the idea of a “performative identity” or of a “performative diaspora” are at the centre of Khatibi’s thinking and writing and generate the reinvention of the Self and a radical individual and democratic system. Khatibi represents one of the best examples of this phenomenon, but located in a “cosmopolitanism” and “cosmo-humanism.” Living in Rabat he became at the same time a cosmopolitan and a great cosmo-humanist at the very moment at which he began to deal as well with Western and Oriental cultural systems. He began to navigate in and to travel through many diverse systems of thinking, of literature, of culture and sciences – his erudition, his privileged sensibility and intelligence made him a cosmopolitan and cosmo-humanist. It developed his way of placing himself in the world, and of reading and writing about the world. His life was a “worlding-life,” his literature a “worlding-literature” within the interface of deconstruction, as well as of the Occidental and Oriental logoi. This article will describe his cultural location and find his voice through a triple act of “translatio” on the base of the axis of a “double critique” and of the “pensée autre”. He becomes an “écrivain-voyageur infatigable”, a “voyageur cosmopolite”, “voyageur ou migrant professionnel” of diverse worlds. The article will also describe Khatibi’s ‘accent’, his polyphony of voices, his thought, working, and writing in the fissure.

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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