Heteroglossia and the Poetics of the Roman Maghrébin

Hoda El-Shakry

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2 Scopus citations


Tracing both the critical relevance and translational migration of Mikhail Bakhtin's 1935 essay "Discourse in the Novel" in the Maghreb, this essay explores the theoretical landscape of the roman maghrébin over the last 50 years with a particular emphasis on Morocco. Focusing on the critical concepts of heteroglossia and heterology, it argues that the Arabophone and Francophone Maghrebi novel continues to be written and theorized as pluralistic, polyphonic, and polysemic. The roman maghrébin thus disrupts those monoglossic and monolithic assumptions that inform a view of the novel as the genre par excellence for the hegemonic institutionalization of national identity, language, and literature. As such, the roman magébin relies upon a literary-critical poetics of opacity and untranslatability that in turn engenders particular reading practices and publics. This rendering of the novel as always already under translation, and yet untranslatable, further serves to destabilize not only the formal category of the novel, but also false binaries of the secular/sacred, personal/political and private/public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-17
Number of pages10
JournalContemporary French and Francophone Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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