Marrakech - The story is extremely complex. Synthesizing it cannot be simple. It starts with the death of a hundred-year old man. Apparently senile, his words are raw and partake in those of Greek heralds, Shakespearean witches, commentaries of the Wasteland or the memories of someone coming out right of Paradise Lost. He is heard before he is seen, his voice espousing those of the animals that coexist with humans in the same living environment. In the short while before he dropped dead, he says it all. Fraud, treachery, corruption, greed and lust underpin the seemingly simple life of the village. One is not even sure the little school kids in their pretty uniforms are that innocent. Every single word he utters, whether addressed to an individual or to the whole community, is an accusation, the revelation of some deviance or a curse. The privilege of old age and of the dementia that goes with it is the right to disclose what everyone else strives to conceal and not to be heard.

Abdellatif Zaki is a professor of Languages and Communication at Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, Rabat, Morocco.