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The Transcontinental MaghrebFrancophone Literature across the Mediterranean$
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Edwige Tamalet Talbayev

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823275151

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823275151.001.0001

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Andalusia as Trauma

Andalusia as Trauma

The Legacies of Convivencia

(p.79) Chapter 2 Andalusia as Trauma
The Transcontinental Maghreb

Edwige Tamalet Talbayev

Fordham University Press

This chapter explores the multiple and conflicting reappropriations of al-Andalus—as both historical moment and mythopoetic trope of coexistence. Assessing Abdelkébir Khatibi’s hypothesis of an Arab “traumatic chiasmus” that followed the Spanish Reconquista, it argues that this entwined yet symmetrical bond is colored by reflective nostalgia (Boym) for an imagined transnational, transconfessional, and multilingual community. In light of Juan Goytisolo’s “Andalusian legacy,” it examines cultural and literary representations of al-Andalus produced in Spain and the Arab world as a product of historical truncation and traumatic memorialization. Khatibi’s restoration of contemporary Spain to the Arab imaginary appropriates the Andalusian past to rethink Morocco’s claim to historical agency beyond French and Spanish colonialisms. In contrast, Nabile Farès’ dystopian “virtual” Andalusia (Deleuze) gives in to the influence of politically unconvincing nostalgia. The chapter ends by revealing how Jewish-Tunisian writer Colette Fellous appropriates Andalusian convivencia to engage Jewish-Muslim relations in Tunisia and current debates about Mediterranean history. Willfully deserting the political arena, Farès and Fellous embody a fundamental sense of belatedness that casts the Mediterranean as a mythical refuge averse to historical realization. They offer a powerful counterpoint to the kind of allegorization performed by Kateb at the apex of nationalism.

Keywords:   Andalusia, Convivencia, Colette Fellous, Juan Goytisolo, Jewish identity, Abdelkébir Khatibi, myth, Nabile Farès, nostalgia, trauma

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