Why do we write our novels in French?
- Fouad Laroui
- Wednesday 13 April 2016
- African Arts and Literatures Today
2311 BD Leiden
A short history [and an ‘explanation’…] of Moroccan literature
Dr. Fouad Laroui (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Morocco has a long history, dating back to the 8th century. It was a French Protectorate, briefly, between 1912 and 1956. Since independence, in 1956, the country has had many successive Constitutions, the last one adopted in 2011, at the start of the so-called Arab Spring. Each of these Constitutions has firmly stated that “Arabic is the official language of the country”. (‘Tamazight’- or ‘Berber’ - was added to the 2011 Constitution.) There is no mention of French in any of these 'Fundamental Laws' or in any particular law of the country. It has no legal existence in Morocco. And yet, the vast majority of Moroccan literature is (still) written in French. In his lecture, Fouad Laroui attempts to explain this strange situation. After the break some of Fouad Laroui’s own literary works will be discussed.