Towards an Ethics of Bilingualism: An Intertextual Dialogue between Khatibi and Derrida

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The purpose of this essay is to explore the interpenetration of postcolonial and poststructuralist theory in its (non-)relation to political engagement. The primary focus will be on the intertextual dialogue between Moroccan sociologist, novelist and literary critic Abdelkébir Khatibi (1938–2009) and French–Algerian philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930–2004). I will begin with some general reflections on the polyphonic structure of all languages, as it is my contention that Bakhtin’s conception of “dialogism” can offer valuable insight into both the similarities and differences between Khatibi's and Derrida’s work. Then, I will proceed with some specific reflections on the history of language in the Maghreb, with particular focus on the Souffles movement and the interpenetration of literary avant-gardism and political activism in Morocco. The main part of the essay is an analysis of Derrida’s Le Monolinguisme de l’autre and Khatibi’s conceptualization of double critique, bi-langue, pensée-autre and pensée en langues. I will conclude with a discussion of the political implications of their theoretical work with specific focus on Khatibi’s call for an ethics of bilingualism.
TidsskriftInterventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)447-466
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 1 mar. 2017

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