Raïhanyat,

Mohamed Saïd Raïhani’s Website

 

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Literary Geography in North Africa

 

 

(Short Story in Morocco)

 

 

 

By Mohamed Saïd Raïhani

 

 

 

Hungry readers aspiring to extend the prospects of their researches and studies in the field of human sciences will be first to read such books as “Cultural Geography" by Mike Crang, published in 1998; "Political Geography" by Peter Tyler and Colin Flint, published in 2000 and "The Geography of Thought" by Richard E. Nisbett, published in 2004 (fourth edition) ...

 

Yet, with the possibility of dealing with geographies of culture, intellect and politics, it will be equally possible to talk about "Literary Geography" and "Critical Geography” while  there can be further sub-geographies of further sub-fields: “Poetic Geography”, “Dramatic Geography”, “Novel Geography” and “Short Story Geography”…

                                        

On this background, North-African literature, from Morocco in the west to Egypt in the east, has experienced a wide range of literary forms since their late literary renaissances. Yet, when Egyptian literature, from the mid-eighties of the ninth century to the present time, both experienced and excelled in practically the major literary forms known world-wide, literature in the Maghreb remains prisoner of “Specialization”.

                                                                           

In Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania), the dominant manifestations of written literature is “Specialization” with every one of the five countries “specializing” in a specific literary gender although the remaining literary genders keep on working at a lower plane: Algeria specializes” in “Novel” giving to the world such weighty names as Assia djebbar and Ahlam Moustaghanmi; Tunisia in “Standard Poetry” giving birth to influential poets like Abu El Kassim Chabbi; Mauritania in “Dialectal Poetry”; Morocco in “Short Story” and “Short-Short Story” with such famous writers as Mohamed Choukri and Mohamed Zefzaf

 

Morocco remains the actual short story capital in North Africa, in the present times.  It is a literary honour which was lifted high up by the arms of many men and women writers who wrote short stories all along the fifty latest years with the emotion of  defending their lives, country and humanity…

 

Short story came into Moroccan literature for the first time in the late fortieth of the twentieth century with Abdel Majid Ben Jelloune, an accomplished short-story writer coming from Great Britain, an English-speaking isle, to Morocco, a francophone country still occupied by the French. His short stories were a contribution to the general patriotic rising tide crowned in the mid-fifties of the twentieth century by the declaration of independence.

 

Right after the Independence, Moroccan short story shifted, in the sixties, from Patriotism into Involvement in Class struggle. The prominent writers in the era were: Mohamed Choukri, Driss El Khouri, Abderrahmane Tazi and Mohamed zefzaf

                     

 In the seventies, there arises a newer brand of writers like Driss Seghir and Ahmed Bouzeffour, abjuring all the former emblems and slogans and diving very deep in the unknown abyss of the Inner Self. Thus, Driss Seghir specializes in depicting the worlds of mental illnesses while Ahmed Bouzeffour specializes in the world of dreams: Narrating dreams and analyzing them        

                                     

In the eighties and nineties, there comes for the first time the feminine voices balancing and democratizing short narration. Among the feminine names: Zahra Ziraoui, Rabia Raihane and others.

 

With the first decade of the new millennium, a double strike echoed in the skies of Moroccan short story. The first came from a newer generation of short-story writers (Mohamed Saïd Raïhani and others) advocating the importance of approaching “The Three Missing Keys in Moroccan Literature: Dream, Freedom and Love”. The second came from newly-born writers who introduced themselves as “Short-Short Story Writers” and declared “Short-Short Story” as their unique literary craft like: Abdallah Mouttaqi, Ezzeddine Maazi, Hamid Rakkata, Hassan Bertal, Smail Elbouyahyaoui, Saadia Bahadda, Mohamed Saïd Raïhani and many others.

                                

 

 

SAMPLES OF MOROCCAN CONTEMPORARY SHORT-SHORT STORY

 

 

Hassan Bertal

Ezzeddine Maazi

Abdallah Mouttaqi

Mohamed Saïd Raïhani

Smail Elbouyahyaoui

 

Hamid Rakkata

Saadia Bahadda

 

 

 

SAMPLES OF MOHAMED SAID RAIHANIS SHORT-SHORT STORY

 

 

Ghandi Forever

Eskimo’s Law

Order of Cheating

King Edward Lover

Love & Marriage

The Fifth Gender

The Man & The Dog

Humiliation

Nobody Sees Me!

Apocalypse, Now!

 

 

 

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