By Nidal Chebbak
By Nidal Chebbak
Morocco World News
Fez, February 10, 2012
Coup de Soleil Association will organize the 18th edition of “Maghreb des Livres” from February 11 and 12 in Paris. The event will take place in the City Palace in the fourth Parisian district . This year’s session is dedicated to celebrate Moroccan literature and history through the organization of round table discussions and book signing events of various authors from the whole Maghreb.
The program about Morocco includes: a meeting to celebrate the great Moroccan resister of Spanish colonial rule Abdelkarim al-Khatabi, another meeting that will cover Moroccans and Tunisians’ cooperation for the independence of Algeria, as well as a round table discussion focused on “Moroccan Authors and multilingualism.”
The session will be moderated by the Algerian journalist Taoufik Hakem with the participation of the Moroccan writer and current resident of the Netherlands, Fouad al-Aroui, the Moroccan novelist Mohamed Nedali, and the Moroccan writer and translator Ayoub El Mouzaïne.
In this regard, Ayoub El Mouzaïne, a young Moroccan translator and writer who frequently represents Morocco in different literary and intellectual events, says, “Language, hidden in an ancient colonial robe, is being slowly transformed into a tool of dominance and hegemony. Many of the people in charge of managing the linguistic and cultural policies, mainly the French-speaking ones, forget that language is essentially a meeting point that represents a space to circulate the concerns of existence and share its pleasures through literature in all its genres. In this case, translation is very important as it brings to the lime light texts that have long been ignored and excluded but in fact are not any less important than those other texts whose writers crawl after prizes with deceptive splendor.”
“In Morocco, we have some great literature and a new generation of writers who will not give up on their right to write in their mother tongue, as they will not hand over to the centrality of a certain language or languages according to preferences and standards that are based on political and historical agendas. Arabic is being glorified by its innovative writers, and it has the right to be spoken to make itself heard,” he continued.
The program also includes an honoring ceremony of a number of names in the publishing industry, , who contributed to the voice of the Algerian resistance during the liberation war against colonialism. Among the names being honored:
– Francois Maspero: a French author, journalist, translator and publisher who opened the Maspiro publishing house in Algeria in 1959 that particularly focused on publishing collections on the Algerian War, from an anti-colonialist perspective.
– Jerome Lindon, a French editor who became the director of the Minuits Editions in 1948 which mainly published works by authors that had been rejected by other publishing houses because of their agendas; authors like Alain Robbe-Grillet (1953), Michel Butor (1954), Robert Pinget (1956), Claude Simon (1957), Marguerite Duras (1958), and, temporarily,Nathalie Sarraute (1957). These authors gathered in 1957 under the banner of le Nouveau Roman, the same year that Lindon started his public denunciation of all sorts of torture practiced by the French army during the war in Algeria.
– Nils Andersson, a French-Swedish political analyst and editor who founded La Cité Éditeur in 1957 following the steps of Maspiro and Lindon in breaking through mainstream literature to bring out censored and rejected works. Nils Andersson believed in the cause of the Algerian militants against French colonialism, a cause that his publishing house adopted as well.
The event is also expected to shed light on the Arab Spring and its future insidethe Greater Maghreb and among the Maghrebian community living in Europe.
George Moran, president of Coup de Soleil Association, said that this year’s edition of “Maghreb des Livres” will put at the heart of its discussions the revolutions witnessed in the Arab countries, as well as emphasize the diversity of the French identity which he described as “a mosaic” that mixes what is religious/secular, Maghrebian/European. This makes the “essence” of France and makes it more involved and open to the serious dialogue in the Mediterranean area.