Deconstructing Home and Exile: The Subversive Politics of Tahar Ben Jelloun's With Downcast Eyes

Salah M. Moukhlis


This essay engages the subversive strategies used by Tahar Ben Jelloun in With Downcast Eyes to argue for a plural postcolonial identity. The essay specifically addresses the ambivalence and search of stability of postcolonial subjects after the colonial encounter. The essay also addresses some ontological and existential problems that face the Moroccan and Maghrebian immigrant community in France. Using the protagonist of the novel as an example, the essay shows the excolonized's split subjectivity between traditionalism and modernity and argues for a plurality that debunks and transcends any claims to 'purity' of identity. The essay also engages the ways Ben Jelloun's protagonist deals with patriarchal orthodoxy in her native country and the strategies she uses to destabilize it.


Tahar Ben Jelloun

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