Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations

First Advisor

Roger M. Allen

Abstract

ABSTRACT

RETHINKING SPACE:

THE REPRESENTATION OF THE CITY IN THE MOROCCAN NOVEL IN ARABIC

READING MUḤAMMAD ZAFZĀF AND MUḤAMMAD SHUKRĪ

Mbarek Sryfi

Roger Allen

This dissertation examines the under-studied subject of urban space in the context of the Moroccan literary heritage. In examining this topic, I argue that a study of how city space is portrayed in the Moroccan novel in Arabic is a useful contribution to the overall study of the importance of space in fiction. This dissertation re-reads, examines, and analyzes the use of the city space in four Moroccan novels in Arabic, and then critically re-evaluates both space and spatiality as used by two Moroccan authors; Muhammad Shukrī and Muhammad Zafzāf.

The present study focuses on four novels by these two literary authors, works that provide representative portraits of the two cities under study—Tangier and Casablanca— in order to highlight the Moroccan city, and its evolving role from a mere background to an actively productive element. These novels allow for a critical inquiry into the Moroccan socio-cultural and political scenes.

This dissertation suggests a way to view space not as container but, in Lefebvre’s words, rather as “the very fabric of social existence.” Through a close exegesis, applying interpretative strategies from spatial theories, this study investigates the way the city as a literary tool is represented in the Moroccan novel in Arabic.

Embargoed

Available to all on Monday, June 14, 2021

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